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X 




HAS5AK THK BASH CHAOUSH ANT) HIS ORDERLY 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

The Birth of a New Nation 

By 

HAROLD ARMSTRONG 

(Lately Assistant and Acting MUitary Attach^ 
to the EQgh Commissions, Coiistantinople ; 

Special Service Officer in War Office and on 
Head-quarts Staff of Allied Army of Occupa- 
tion, and Supervisor of Turkish Gendarmerie) 

WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS AND 
TWO MAPS 


LONDON 

JOHN LANE THE BODLEY HEAD mmW> 



First pfiiliskd in 1925 


MaitaalPmkiai^BrMlxfMa&TmalJiiFromiiniLodm 



INTRODUCTION 

P OETS and' philosophers have thought and 
sung of the mutability of human affairs. 
In all the coloured Romance of History 
there is hardly a story so illustrative of this 
mutability, so fantastic, so dramatic, as that of 
Turkey during the last eight years. The Fates 
allowed me to follow that story closely step by 
step and often in intimate relations with its chief 
actors and its chief events. 

I have written herein no chronological and 
exhaustive history. It is an account of personal 
adventure jotted down in odd places at odd times 
and often about odd events. But through them 
all runs the thread of History on which they 
form a strange and quaintly assorted chaplet. 

• I came in close contact with the Turk in 1916, 
in the hour of defeat. Germany had swept for- 
ward in one tremendous drive. Austria-Hungary 
was her assistant. She had torn to pieces her 
enemies in the Balkans and collected the rest to 
her as her allies. She had swept into Turkey 



VI 


INTRODUCTION 


and taken control, and so across Asia Minor and 
down into Mesopotamia and Bagdad. With her 
assistance the Turks had hurled back the British 
and inflicted on them the severe defeats of Galli- 
poli and Kut-al-Amarah. On the Western front 
the Allies battered in vain with useless and bloody 
frontal attacks. On the Eastern front the Rus- 
sians had shown their weakness, and the Caucasus 
armies were in full retreat. From the Baltic, 
across Central Europe through the Balkans and 
Turkey to Jerusalem and Bagdad and the Cau- 
casus, Germany was supreme. The overpower- 
ing hand of the Black Empire held the Old World 
half-strangled in its terrific grip. To many 
acute neutral observers the Allies appeared to be 
defeated. 

In captivity I saw the dissolution of the old 
Ottoman Empire. I returned to freedom to 
share the stupendous victory of the Allies. I 
found everywhere thrust and energy and enthu- 
siasm and ideals. 

The Near East, torn into strips, waited placidly 
to have its future decided. A great opportunity 
was given to the Allies, but they showed them- 
selves incapable and unworthy of it. The Otto- 
®ttan Empire, crushed and defeated, begging only 
for peace and security, lay at their feet. 

By folly and procrastination and by national 



INTRODUCTION 


vU 

jealousies the Allies allowed the fruits of success 
to rot. The Greeks were sent crusading into 
Anatolia and were defeated and Greece was dealt 
a disastrous blow. 

Out of the debris of the Ottoman Empire, 
through a thousand difficulties burst a Turkish 
Nation. As wild and destructive as any volcano 
newly in eruption, it rent its way out into the 
open. It suffered the agonies of a fierce war of 
self-preservation. As the Allies grew disunited 
and weak, it grew strong and arrogant, until 
there came the day when with a mailed fist it 
threatened the peace of the World and dictated 
its own terms to the impotent Powers. 

In the black months of 1916 I came as a 
prisoner to Constantinople. I returned to it 
on the crest of the wave of victory and hope. I 
crept away with the Allied Forces of Occupation 
in the hour of defeat and dishonour, in the face 
of a triumphant Turkish Nation, and behind 
that nation the threat of a new Asia roused and 
revengeful. 



NOTE 

The Author desires to thank the Editors of the Fortnightly 
Review and the Near East for their kind permission to use 
portions of his articles, which they have already published. 



CONTENTS 


CHAP. PAGE 

I First Contact with the Turks : the 

Defence of Kut-al-Amaeah, 1916 . 3 

n Surrender 13 

III The March into Captivity ... 21 

IV Captivity 30 

V The Stambul Prison .... 43 

VI The Prison Camp in Anatolia . . 50 

VII The Fall OF THE Ottoman Empire: Release, 

1918 56 

VIII The First Days of the Armistice . . 60 

IX Central Europe, Italy, Athens, and 

Salonika in 1919 .... 66 

X In Constantinople as one of the Victors . 71 

XI The Greek Crusade into Anatolia and the 

Awakening of the Turks ... 81 

XII The Pleasant Life of Constantinople and 

the Signs of Danger ... 96 

XIII The Treaty of SIvres. The Storm Bursts, 

1920 no 

XIV The Greeks Save the Allies and Thrust 

Back the Turks . . . .124 

XV England in the Post-War Reaction . . 131 

ix 



X CONTENTS 

CHAP. 

XVI The Gheco-Tuekish War. The First 
Greek Advance, 1921 .... 

XVII Skdtasi and the Turkish Gendarmerie 
XVIII Brigand Hunting : the Capture of Yanni 

XIX Brigand Hunting : the Raid on Bakal ICeuy 

XX As A Gendarme Supervising Officer 

XXI Brigand Hunting ; the Death of Tahir the 

Lazz 

XXII The Greco-Tuekish War : the Summer 

Offensive on Angora, 1921 

XXIII A Lull between the Storms . 

XXrV The Christian Minorities 

XXV The End of Brigandage in the Ismidt Area 

XXVI The Balkans, Central Europe, and England 

IN 1922 

XXVII The Greek Defeat, the Chanak Crisis, and 
THE Mudania Conference, 1922 . 

XXVIII Turkish Success from Mudania to the 
Lausanne Conference. 

XXIX The Lausanne Conference and the Recogni- 

tion OF Turkey 

XXX New Turkey, 1923 

Index 


PAGE 

I4I 

149 

158 

168 

176 

186 

206 

212 

218 

226 

231 

240 

249 

261 

268 

27 S 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 


Hassan the Bash-Chaoush and his Orderly . Frontispiece 

TO FACE 
PAGE 

Turkish Village Hodjas and Coast-guard Official . 34 

Head-men of Ottoman Greek villages ... 58 

Gendarmerie Battalion Commander and Section Com- 
manders on Castle Steps at the Mouth of the Bos- 
phorus 144 

Left to right : Two Gendarmes, an Armenian Village 
Guard, and two Head-men of Lazz villages, in 
Alemdagh Forest 160 

Greek Villagers suspected of Brigandage, outside a 
typical Village House 170 

Brigand Band of Tahir the Lazz. Abdulla the Cha- 
oush in the centre front row on Skutari Prison steps 200 

Brigand Band of Zaffiri. Karaolan and Pavli hand- 
cuffed. Zaffiri to their left looking bad after his 
beating 230 


MAPS 

(I) To face page 212: illustrating the phases of the Greco-Turkish 

War and the successive lines of Greek advance in the 
endeavour to reach Angora. 

( II ) Folding Map, at the end, of the Ottoman Empire from 
Basra to Adrianople. 


XI 




TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


B 




CHAPTER I 


First Contact with the Turks ; the 
Defence of Kut-al-Amarah, 1916 

I T was the 3r(l of December 1915, and three of us 
stood leaning against a low mud-wall amongst 
palm trees . W e strained our eyes staring out across 
the empty desert that lay all around Kut-al-Amarah. 
A mongoose, in his jerky way, came out to look at us, 
and the pariah dogs growled and bit, as the fleas ran 
through their long, coarse coats. Out of the distance 
came the rumble and grunts of far-off guns. The 
morning mists had dissolved, and the heat had begun 
to shudder across the plains. Far up the bank of the 
Tigris river a low cloud of dust hung heavily in the air. 
The haze took strange, gigantic shapes and then formed 
down into a column of waggons, guns, and men march- 
ing towards us. It was the head of the Vlth Division 
retreating from Bagdad. 

As defence officer of the town I had much to do, but 
I watched these troops with interest. There is a chill 
about failure, and for the first time they were feeling 
the numbing cold of defeat. They came in bedraggled, 
dispirited, utterly weary after their long retreat. Here 

3 



4 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


and there springless, bumping mule-carts drove in vith 
wounded, twisted with the agony of great, raw open 
wounds. From Basra these troops had fought and 
advanced invincible from victory to victory, and full of 
hope and enthusiasm. They had grown even arrogant 
with success, stalking through a submissive countryside, 
taking great risks and justifying the taldng ; and then 
on the threshold of Bagdad they had been forced to 
retreat. With the mutilating Arab close at hand and 
the Turks behind them they had been inspired into 
the one great concentrated effort of plodding back to 
Kut-al-Amarah. The driving stimulus of success was 
gone. Now they came in just weary human beings, 
instinctively searching for food and safety ; and in Kut 
they found mud-huts and a chance to sit down and 
eat and rest. They sat down and thanked God for the 
chance, but they got up no more. The momentum 
was gone out of the force, and out of its commander. 
Like a camel in the mud this tired division slipped down 
and lay firmly still. 

Kut was no more than a bottle of which the broad, 
deep and swift Tigris river formed the sides and the 
bottom. It controlled, however, the roads into the 
country beyond. Behind us lay 300 miles of unprotected 
communications and half Mesopotamia conquered, but 
not held. Defeat had left this one small division isolated 
in the great desert. There were promises of distant 
reinforcements. Determined to hold them back as far 
as possible and save what had already been won, we 
turned and faced the Turks. 

We had not long to wait, for very soon the distant 



FIRST CONTACT WITH THE TURKS 5 

sandhills were black with Turks. It seemed certain 
that they would attack, and there was little to prevent 
them coming straight in. Our tired men were persuaded 
with difficulty to dig. They scratched themselves a 
few shallow pits to hide in, until they were relieved. 
They knew little about trenches or their value. But 
the Turks missed their chance. They settled down to 
dig, and indulged in long-range artillery bombardment 
of the town. They came on warily, but with a line 
of trenches and a few men they effectively inserted the 
cork and bottled us securely in Kut. 

Hope and energy revived on good and plentiful food. 
Soon the trenches grew in the hard-baked ground and 
we began the underground life of trench warfare. There 
was a belief that we had only to keep the Turk out 
and hold our own for a few days, and then the relieving 
forces would join hands witli us, and together we should 
hurl back the enemy and march triumphant into Bagdad. 
We prepared each day to resist and repel attacks, but 
the Turk did no more than sap steadily up to our lines. 
He made only two determined assaults, and he was flung 
back with heavy losses. 

For a while there was muddle and disorganization. 
The ground was baked to tire hardness of brick, and 
digging was slow. Communication trenches did not 
exist, and in the drought of the late Eastern autumn 
we were parched for want of water. Time and again 
I watched a faithful water-carrier try to get a skinful 
from the river and I saw him shot as he hurried and 
stumbled over the open to his regiment. There was 
little or no medical arrangement, for the medical services 



6 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


were under-staffed and under-supplied. Wounded 
men lay hours unattended. Food was plentiful and 
freely wasted. Occasions arose when an obsei'vation 
post was built of sacks of white Indian flour and shell- 
holes in protecting mud-walls were filled with boxes of 
jam and butter. There were 6,000 Arabs left in the 
town, and unhindered they stole as they pleased. When 
any man in the regiments in the fort on the right of 
the line felt inclined, he dug here in the walls for butter 
and there for jam and with a little flour made himself 
weird pastries and threw most of them away because 
his belly was full. 

We had not learnt the art of building dug-outs, and 
with little shelter we lived under the open sky. We 
learnt the shapes of the moon and how its light might 
mean attacks and death, and how its absence meant the 
strain of listening and watching into the dark. We 
learnt the joy of sunlight, when the strain was over. 
We knew the way the stars rise and wheel across the 
sky, and the light fleecy clouds that come with wind 
and those that carry rain. We unlearnt the delicacy 
and ignorance of those who live in houses and we became 
as primitive as the Mother Earth in which we lived. 
For the minute we were buoyed up with hope and the 
belief in success. W^e had no serious thought for to- 
morrow. This was only to be a temporary check. . 

The^ new year came in with rain that chilled the 
enthusiasm out of the troops. As before we had been 
dried up with drought, now we slept in mud and strove 
with water. The Tigris rose and came flooding down 
our trenches, and both we and the enemy, who were 



FIRST CONTACT WITH THE TURKS 7 

now only a few yards away, were forced to evacuate 
and retreat. I had one glorious half-hour, for in front 
of me the Turks had to go first and we mowed them 
down in bundles as they staggered away over the flooded 
ground. Then we retired. We were wet to the arm- 
pits. An ice-cold wind came sweeping down from the 
snows on the great mountains of the Pushti-Ku. Obli- 
vious of the snipers’ bullets, all night we paced to keep 
alive, or huddled under ground-sheets in little holes 
that we scratched in the sodden ground. Dawn came 
cold and cheerless with a grey sky. An informal truce 
prevailed as we dug ourselves into safety where the 
ground was not water-logged. Many of the Indians 
were frozen stiff ; and for myself my hands had swollen 
up like great potatoes, and the scratches and scars stood 
out on them black and beastly like eyes in potatoes. 
The sun I We prayed for the sun. Like a grey inverted 
bowl the clouds slowly swung back, and the sun came 
out, and then as we felt its first joy of warmth the clouds 
swung back again grey and dreary as before. 

The enemy had gone back a thousand yards, and 
between us there was a sea of water. The danger of 
attack was over. The hope of success was dying. The 
long siege settled down to its dull, grey monotony. It 
became as eventless as a schoolboy’s diary. There was 
no. rest, no going back to comfortable billets as in France, 
but always the crack and flip of snipers’ bullets and 
the drone of shells. The hospital gave no protection 
to the wounded, for it was bombed and fired on. It 
was no more than an Arab house, with staff offices and 
gun emplacements on all sides of it. 



8 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


I lay there in terror when ill, for the enemy’s shells 
burst just over or just short of it all day, and the enemy’s 
aeroplanes dropped bombs close by, and bullets came 
with a thud into its mud-walls. From a window I 
could see down a bullet-swept street. One day an .Arab 
woman sauntered by with a child and a bullet killed it 
while it slept in her arms. She made no sign that she 
understood, but nursed it the livelong day. Sometimes 
she put down the little limp body in a doorway and 
called to it and mocked it and enticed it to come and 
play ; and then she would croon over it and hum it a 
sleeping song of her people. That day she played with 
it, and that night beneath my window she hummed her 
tuneless cradle song, till I heard her cry tliat her child 
was dead and the noise of her tearing her hair and clothes 
as she called on her God, while a man persuaded her 
to come into safety. It took me back suddenly to the 
mountains and the pines above Simla, when I had seen 
a mam-monkey drop her child out of a tree and play 
with it like the Arab woman and croon over it and 
lay it down and call to it all a summer’s day, and then 
when the tribe came near she had caught up the limp 
body and raced chattering and crying along the tree-tops. 

As time passed our hope began to die. Uncertainty 
sapped the strength of loyalty and discipline. Food 
began to become scarce and communiques from General 
Head Quarters increased in number and in promises, 
till the troops laughed at each new one. 

So we came to the month of March. Already the 
grass was growing and coming, rich and fresh and green, 
above the parapets, and here and there was a clump 



FIRST CONTACT WITH THE TURKS 9 

of flowers. Food had grown scarcer and scarcer, till 
we were down to starvation rations. Hopes were fed 
on the continuous grunts of the guns of the relieving 
force far down stream and the crazy old aeroplanes 
that at times flew over. Starved men look out on a 
grey world, and monotony and uncertainty breed des- 
pair. Now and again, when relief appeared to be near, 
there would be a tiring burst of excitement. Hope 
would flare up and then die down again wearily into 
the old monotony. 

The men had grown terribly weak. They had begun 
to lose heart and desertions and courts-martial were 
frequent. The ratio of all things had changed. Money 
was of little value. A sack of silver rupees dropped 
by an aeroplane excited interest only because it had, 
with poetic justice, fallen on and killed a Supply and 
Transport sergeant and conductor. The discipline of 
the Army Act was gone, and stick and fist took its pla'ce ; 
for what did a man care for court-martial and fourteen 
years’ hard labour when his belly was empty and he 
had only his moustache to chew on, and when men fell 
down exhausted under the weight of a rifle and too 
rounds of ammunition. Morning after mornmg a firing 
squad shot a prisoner behind the fort wall at dawn. 
Crimes took on a new aspect. Murder was far less 
than the theft of food. T'here was one poor devil who 
had eaten his piece of dark barley bread and refused, 
because he was a Dogra-Brahmin, to eat the horse- 
meat that completed his rations, and then he stole and 
was hand-cuffed and shut into the guard-room. While 
the guard slept — and now all the guards slept— -he 



10 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


crawled to the sack of dirty flour that held a week’s 
rations for his company and, gnawing a way through, 
sucked out a pound of flour, and his choking, as the 
dry flour throttled him, woke the guard. 

Then there came upon us some of the plagues of 
Egypt. With each shower of rain came myriads of frogs, 
that croaked and hopped till they fell by thousands 
into the trenches. There, trapped, they sat in multi- 
tudes and popped as men trod on them or died of thirst 
when the sun came out. They lay and rotted, till the 
stench of dead frogs grew more sickly to empty stomachs 
than rotting barley or dead corpses of men. Before us 
in the barbed wire were the bodies of many dead Turks 
mummified by the desert air. With the spring, the 
mummies died, and the world became full of great evil 
blue flies that frequent butchers’ shops. 

Lice came by the million and crawled in indecency. 
Dysentery and scurvy and enteritis, which is little less 
than cholera, killed the men. Despair and monotony 
and hunger got hold of us. There was disease, starva- 
tion, desertion, crime, despair, and over all the drone of 
the 40 lb. shells and the crack of the snipers’ bullets. 

Confined as we were in so small an area, nothing 
could be kept secret or quiet. Mistalces made were 
glaringly obvious, and the troops became querulous and 
critical. They criticized the lack of precautions taken 
to protect the food supply, and the presence of the large 
thieving Arab population who had to be fed at their 
expense. They pointed out that in all this siege no 
attempt to break out had been made, nor had any help 
been given to the relieving force. They criticized the 



FIRST CONTACT WITH THE TURKS ii 


Supply Services and the continuous altering of the date 
up to which we could last, which had driven the reliev- 
ing force to expend its strength in bits and gave it no 
time to concentrate for one big blow. The British 
soldier, in his own grousing grumpy way, stood the 
strain magnificently. The Indian officer and the sepoy 
lost heart more quickly. 

But I would not include all in this sweeping statement. 
By tlie grace of God and the aid of a scamp of a British 
private, I found buried in tire fort wall one of the tins 
of crude sugar which had been used as a rivetment in 
a shell-hole early in the siege. The sugar was sweet and 
strong and worth its weight twice over in pure gold. 
I placed it in the hands of Ali Khan, the Mess Havildar, 
Now Ali IChan had many faults. He was a dull Pun- 
jabi Mussulman, long and thin and angular with a 
tendency to argue and avoid obeying orders. Each day 
I doled out half an ounce of precious sugar to each 
officer. Each day I weighed the tin and its contents, 
where it was kept in the Havildar’s dug-out. Ali Khan 
was starving and he could hardly move for the great 
weariness that starvation brings. The Genoese cook, 
whose fat hung on him now in loose folds, and others 
who knew what was in that tin, watched it with hungry 
eyes and tempted Ali Khan, but during six long dreary 
weeks he sat guard over it and saw that not one ounce 
went astray. One night, after the sugar was long since 
finished, Ali Khan was sent to handle some bombs. 
The bombs blew up and all that was left of Ali Khan 
vras strips of flesh on the sides of a trench. May God 
collect his scattered remnants and let him into Paradise ! 



12 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


The end grew near. The spring was coming clean 
and fresh with the undefmable kick of new life in the 
air. Far up in the Persian hills the snow was melting 
and the river had risen into a gigantic flood that covered 
the land and cut off all hope of relief. The duck came 
fleeting over us on their way to the breeding grounds. 
The linnets flirted and played across tine trenches as 
they paired. A snake or two rustled through the grass 
above our heads, and the parapets of the trenches were 
carpeted thick with luscious grasses and scented flowers. 
But down in the trenches it was dark, weary monotony. 
I could smell those trenches, stale, full of disease and 
death and dirt and foulness and despair and tired, starved 
men who cared little for life or death. I could feel, almost 
touch. Spring. The songs of the birds and the hum of 
insects and the great swollen river spoke of surging life, 
but down in the earth we were imprisoned underground. 
We were already half buried, while life surged over us. 

I slept lightly as one hungry, and Subedar Rahmet 
Ali called me softly to come and see. In the rose flush 
before dawn a sickle moon was sliding down the sky. 
Almost within its horns glowed a great bright star. I 
could hear my Punjabi Mussulmans whispering together, 
“ The Star and Crescent of the Prophet.” From the 
Turkish trenches opposite a Mullah called loud and 
clear the Morning Call to Prayer. Subedar Rahmet Ali 
was praying ; and suddenly, as a stranger, as one shut 
out, as one lost in the vastness of Asia, I felt lonely. 
Months later I met Rahmet Ali in prison, suffering 
because he would not do homage to the Sultan of Turkey, 
and I was glad and comforted. 



CHAPTER II 

Surrender 


I T was late April, and at last the end had come. The 
morning of the 29th dawned dull and hot and 
still. I was away before dawn in the palm-groves 
destroying regimental records, and burning rifles and 
ammunition in the dug-outs there. The air was full 
of futile pops and loud explosions. With a loud dron- 
ing whirr, half a breech-block from a burst gun sailed 
over, wiped away the head of one of a number of Arabs 
who sat watching us, and buried itself in a pile of tents. 
The rest of the Arabs, still eyeing us like scavenger 
dogs, moved rapidly away. As they passed, one picked 
up a rifle from a pile and made off. I made after him. 
The cur snarled back at me and threatened me, and 
his friends closed in evilly on me from each side. I 
was working in my shirt-sleeves and was unarmed. I 
could see murder in their cruel eyes. Snatching up an 
axe that lay close by I made at the man, and the steel 
bit into his skull as into a pine log. The snarl went 
out of the faces of his companions. They salaamed 
respectfully and disappeared. 

We had almost completed our work when I saw 
that the Arab population was streaming out of the 

13 



H 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


town. I stepped out of the palm-groves to look and 
there over the open, where for many months no one 
had dared to walk, came small bodies of men. They 
were the Turks. 

I was disappointed. They were dirty, unshaved, 
ill-dressed, ragged rapscallions of men. I was piqued 
that we should have surrendered to so tatterdemalion 
a crew. I had not yet realized that it is only the British 
soldier who loses his military efficiency when he is 
dirty. 

They came in methodically, taking up posts from 
where they commanded all entrances and exits. The 
Arabs were shouting with delight, leaping and salaaming 
and offering them food. They had not starved, these 
Arabs, by the look of them, and they were offering 
fresh mutton and white bread free as gifts of peace. 
The Turks were but little impressed. When they 
got in the way they drove them on one side. They 
had had many proofs of their loyalty before. I could 
have thanked a mounted officer who kicked full in the 
mouth an Arab who tried to kiss his boot. It was ever 
so with these Arabs ; they sung songs to and cringed 
before the victors and mutilated the wounded of the 
defeated. 

I fell in my men and moved off to our rendezvous. 
Then I realized that we were prisoners, for we were 
roughly halted by dirty fellows and searched and dis- 
armed. At every few yards we had to stop and beg 
leave to advance from apathetic and supercilious young 
officers. My whole spirit revolted, for I had never 
learnt to cringe. 



SURRENDER 


IS 


We concentrated in the palm-groves by the river- 
bank. There we spent a night of terror. For the first 
time for many years I was defenceless and unarmed. 
We had eaten no food at all that day, and the heart sinks 
when the belly is empty. A low thick fog lay over 
everything, and out of it now and again loomed groups 
of men on horses, uncanny and terrible, because they 
were unknown and spoke in a strange tongue. We 
set sentries with sticks, who would have been useless 
in real danger, but it seemed better to be wakened than 
to be murdered in our sleep. 

At last that long night came to an end, and in the 
dawn I dropped asleep, to be wakened by the sound of 
a scuffie. A short sturdy Turk was endeavouring to 
tear his water-bottle away from a huge Sikh. The sepoy 
looked to me for protection. Suddenly I realized that 
I was helpless ; and I was ashamed. A little way off 
sat a Turkish officer on the side of a water-wheel. I 
ran to him and called his attention in French, which 
by the grace of God he more or less understood. He 
called to his Turk to leave the water-bottle alone. He 
strode up to the man and beat him on the face. But 
the fellow obstinately carried on. The officer’s hand 
flew to his belt, but his revolver was not there. Seeing 
a pickaxe lying near he caught it up and drove the point 
through the man. 

Towards late afternoon we filed out of Kut. The 
Turks had told us that if we got to Shamran, some 
eight miles away, we should find food. The Turkish 
commander KLhalil Pasha and his Staff, with the German 
officers on it, watched us march out in fours. Right 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


i6 

under his eyes Turkish soldiers looted our men, and 
when I called to him and told him, he shrugged his 
shoulders and said something to his Germans, and 
they all laughed together. 

That night was a veritable nightmare. We marched 
in by brigades and regiments of an unarmed army. 
We arrived in the dark. Our food was a great pile of 
dry biscuits. They were being issued by a staff-sergeant 
with the aid of a candle that flickered in the soft night 
air. Outside the ring of light moved a swaying mass 
of men. They had starved for two months, and had 
eaten nothing for thirty-six hours. Now and again 
they would surge in like wolves snatching at the bis- 
cuits, and every officer and sergeant in the ring would 
strike and kick and force them back out to the edge of 
the poor light. The biscuits were hard and dried 
and no more than coarse compressed porridge that 
should have been boiled. Eaten hard they swelled 
in the stomachs, contracted with long fasting, and so 
killed the men in agony. It was a sorry, pitiful dance 
of death, to fight for a rough hard biscuit, to munch 
it and die as if poisoned : a dance of death round a 
few candles that flickered in the night air. 

For m3^elf, I nibbled my biscuit and, worn out, 
dropped asleep on the ground and woke in the sun 
to see them carrying those who had died in the night, 
away to shallow pits in the long grass by the river bank. 

We rested a day or two, and from down-stream came 
a British hospital ship loaded with rich food. It landed 
its cases and then steamed away again. For three days 
I fed on plum-pudding and champagne cider and mixed 



SURRENDER 


17 

them with rich tinned foods and then bathed in the 
river and lazed in the sun. But the rich food killed 
many men with weaker stomachs, and the rough hospital 
was full of sick. On three sides of us the Turkish 
pickets made three rings and on the fourth there was 
the river in flood. I pondered the chances of escape. 
To pass the guards and swim the river would be difficult, 
and beyond that were the miles of desert with the evil 
mutilating Arab. In despair I put the idea aside. 

At last our turn to go up to Bagdad had come. Officers 
and men were separated. They were our men and 
they were being taken away to be ill-used and starved 
and beaten and forced to work in such conditions that 
few of them were to win out alive to the Peace. Helpless 
as children, they crowded to the river bank while we 
embarked. They cried to us good-bye, so that when 
we were far out of sight we could still hear their calls. 

There was little room on the ships, but the Turkish 
officers on board tried to make us comfortable. They 
told us of all the delights of Bagdad and made us lavish 
promises of the life we were to lead with hotels and 
theatres and dances and beautiful women and many 
things that had become vague and distant. It is a 
curious trait among the Turks to tell these quiet effective 
lies, which are of no use to anyone, but calculated to 
please the listener. We had not yet learned that they 
handled words, as it were, like coloured threads, to be 
woven into what pattern their imagination suggested, 
but without reference to facts or realities. They were 
polite, these Turkish officers, and I felt that they looked 
on us English much as we look on Americans and Aus- 

c 



i8 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

tralians, as a people full of bustle and money and new 
ideas, but virile and rough and without manners. 

As we passed villages, the Arabs came racing out 
hallooing and howling and indicating with lewd gestures 
the foul mutilations they would perpetrate. They had 
greeted the Vlth Division, as it advanced, as their 
saviours. The Turkish officers aboard looked at them 
with dislike and spat over the side of the ship. We 
had seen the Turkish wounded brought in mutilated 
as we advanced. Call it what you will, “ Mesopotamia,” 
“ Irak,” “ the cradle of civilization,” it is no more than 
an empty, dusty, barren desert with two great rivers 
ribbed with strips of green fields and with marshes. 
It is an evil land full of the plagues of Egypt, and scattered 
over it are a treacherous, dirty, despicable, evil people. 
Here and there it is believed that oil lies hidden, and 
so men and money are squandered on it. Long after- 
wards, when the peace came, the British Government 
sent men full of ideals to form a stable good government 
in Irak. They worked hard, but met with revolt and 
hatred. They never realized that the Arabs wanted 
no good stable government, and that they will stand 
no control. 

On the second day we landed at Bagdad, and our 
Turkish officers departed and took with them all their 
glowing promises. We were formed into a column and 
marched slowly through the principal streets. On 
each side from roadway to roof-tops were banked masses 
of people who watched us in dead silence. The Turks 
had given orders for silence, and so well do they under- 
stand how to enforce their orders that, surrounded 



SURRENDER 


19 


by this vast crowd, I could hear the pad of our own 
feet in the thick dust and, as we passed under the great 
gateway, the sound of a stork who sat perched on her 
ponderous nest on a broken minaret and cracked with 
her beak in disapproval. Bagdad was no more than the 
ordinary Mesopotamian village enlarged, with its twist- 
ing, dirty alleys of streets and its dark covered bazaars 
full of tiny open shops. 

For a while we lodged in the long cavalry barracks 
that were foul from the remains of successive regiments 
of Turks. Already the stale smell of the coming summer 
was in the air and we were glad to get orders to board 
the train that starts on the road to Constantinople. 
There were ninety miles of solid railway built with 
all the German strength and forethought and precision. 
It showed the ambition of Germany, and under the 
heavy hand of her dictatorship this land might have 
blossomed like a rose. But the Germans had started 
building the end of the renowned railway from Berlin 
to Bagdad before they had finished the middle. So 
we alighted at the seedy village of Samarra, and there 
close by the station we slept in cattle pens, into which 
at night they drove oxen. The Turks tried, almost 
pathetically, to treat us well. They allowed us to 
transport great bundles of our kit as far as here. But 
their- standards of life and their ways and ours were 
different, and they soon gave up the attempt. 

Everywhere where man had enclosed a bit of land, the 
dirt of Samarra was thick and foul, but in the open the 
scavengers of nature cleaned all with care. It was the 
kingdom of beetles. I never believed that so many 



20 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


existed. From every quarter they came hurrying in, 
rolling the filth of men and animals into neat balls and 
racing away on the wind with them. Jackals, hawks, 
dogs, ants and beetles and the eating sun cleaned up 
the refuse, while man did nothing but befoul : except 
perhaps when, over-troubled and irritated, an Arab 
might put his shirt on an ants’ nest and so delouse it. 

Our energy and courage were coming back and with 
them came the spirit of lawlessness, which is a prisoner’s 
privilege — ^the fierce resentment against all and every 
order. The Turks had given up the make-believe of 
treating us well. We had to conform to the conditions 
of the country. When ordered to set out on the march, 
we obstinately refused. We demanded to be allowed to 
transport all our kit, and it would have taken a regiment 
of horses to have done this, We argued and resisted 
and refused to move until, towards late evening, the 
Turkish commandant, in despair, brought us more 
pack animals and then we agreed to move off. 

The sun was already low, and out of the sunset came 
racing a great black cloud of dust and rain that whistled 
and tore at the world and filled the air with darkness. 
In the village stood the Mosque of Omar with its dome 
which had been covered with plates of brass by a pious 
Persian Shah. We stood in raging darkness. The 
sun was hidden, but it struck through the storm' and 
the great bronze dome of the Mosque glowed close 
above us like a red-hot inverted bowl, in the wild dark- 
ness. Then, wet through, we trudged away into the 
night and the unknown. 



CHAPTER III 


The March into Captivity 

O F that march I cannot mite a pleasant history 
with neat notes on historical places and pictures 
of scenery and of men. We travelled the 
length of upper Mesopotamia into Kurdistan, past a 
hundred cities of renown, across the breadth of Cilicia, 
and then far up into Anatolia till we came to Kustamouni 
below the Black Sea. In all we travelled perhaps some 
1, 600 miles. I can give no consecutive account of times 
and places. With a halt here and there and a day’s 
rest now and again, we trudged solidly mile after mile 
until we became as the animals. For myself the great 
facts of life were hunger and thirst and an aching desire 
to rest. I had no clear thinking, but only a dull instinct 
that I must go on, and that ahead there was water and 
food and sleep. The training of the public schools, the 
veneer and polish of modern life and civilization dis- 
appeared, and we were primitive in our dealings one 
with another. Like an animal I trudged forward, 
eating when I could find food, drinking water 
foul or clear, tired but with an insistent subcon- 
scious instinct of fear that if I stopped I should 
fall into the hands of the mutilating Arab. Here and 



22 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


there incidents stood out vividly and remained clear. 

We halted for the first long halt at the village of 
Tekreet. There, as we entered the gates, the Arabs spat 
on us and stoned us, until we reached a stretch of sandy 
beach on the river’s edge. Above us were tall cliffs and 
on the top a line of open cafds, in which the whole 
population sat the live-long day and jabbered and called 
to. each other. 

On that beach we found a few of our soldiers who had 
been captured earlier. They were dying of dysentery ; 
and there they lay uncared for and untended on the naked 
sand under the pitiless June sun. When we helped 
them to crawl into the shade under the cliffs the Arabs 
stoned them out again into the sun. Later we heard 
that our men came here by the hundreds, until this 
beach was black with men crawling because they could 
not stand. Under the raging July sun they died of 
dysentery and enteritis, while the Arabs gloated over 
them and looted them, and the Turks sat stolidly by, 
giving no help because they had no help to give. 

We were ahead, but behind us came our men, and all 
that long desert road was strewn with their bodies where 
they fellj some murdered, some too wealc to walk, some 
killed by disease ; and the jackals and the crows fed on 
them after the Arabs had finished their bestialities and 
looted their bodies. 

Sometimes we passed battalions of Turkish troops 
marching down to Bagdad. Often they marched on the 
“ go as you please ” system, by which they formed up 
in some town such as Aleppo. There a ration would be 
dealt out to each man and orders given to make for 



THE MARCH INTO CAPTIVITY 


23 


Bagdad, some 300 miles away. The first few files would 
stick together, and then the regiment would string out 
into small parties, and finally into single men limping 
along. 

These the Arabs watched, and when occasion served, 
they killed and looted them, so that we passed many 
corpses of Turkish soldiers on the route. They lay 
by the roadside with their throats cut, left to rot like 
carrion for all their officers or their Government cared ; 
while far away in Anatolia the women waited eagerly, 
but in vain, for news of their men. Underfed, misused, 
paid but little and that rarely, ragged and dirty, these 
Turkish troops were as wretched in their liberty as we 
were in our captivity. 

Their animals suffered equally. We halted one night 
close by the bivouac of a cavalry regiment. In the grey 
light before dawn I was awaked by heavy breathing and 
felt warm breath on my cheek. Up against the sky over 
me stood a great horse gaunt and monstrous with under- 
feeding and neglect. He was an English cavalry charger. 
He cropped a little at the dry desert grass. Then he 
nosed with his wet muzzle and blew as he scented British 
blood and the British smell in the men sleeping round 
me and he whinnied and neighed with delight. And 
there he stayed contentedly until a rough evil Turkish 
trooper with the face of a Tartar came and took him 
away. But as he went the old horse looked back and 
called to us again, as fellow-prisoners. 

While we followed the Tigris river there was plenty, 
and water to drink and chances to bathe. We learnt to 
love it dearly and dreaded to leave it. We had gone up 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


24 

past the village of Hammam Ali where there are sulphur 
and petrol springs in which the rich sick come to bathe ; 
and then we swung into the desert and clambered up a 
rough track over low stone hills. The only water was 
from a pool or two rank with sulphur which gave no 
relief, but left the mouth foul as after fever. We trudged 
all day and with but little rest throughout the night, 
because water was far ahead. Towards midnight the 
plain in front became alive with red lights, and when 
we came near we saw that it was a prairie fire. Our 
road ran through it, and we marched with the 
grass crackling and blazing close on each side of us. 
When morning came we were still trudging forward 
with blackened faces and eyes sore with smoke ; and 
the fierce sun came up to dry out of us the little moisture 
left by the fire. I was parched and prayed to see the 
kindly Tigris river again. 

Close beside me with his shoulders forward as if he 
carried a weight staggered a colonel. His face was 
ashen grey and white with weariness and his eyes blood- 
shot and unseeing. A huge Scotsman, a captain in an 
Indian regiment, swung up to him, picked him up like 
a child, brushed aside the driver who disagreed, and 
sat him among the kit on a pack-pony. And there 
with wide-open, unseeing eyes he sat, while the Scots- 
man strode behind to watch that the Arab did not throw 
him off. 

The plain turned to rolling hills and they called to 
us that water was near. Our guards rode lazily on 
sturdy stallions, and, knowing the route, they had tied 
long skins of water under their ponies’ girths. Still the 



THE MARCH INTO CAPTIVITY 


25 


unending dusty road wound away into the distance. 
Once I stepped on one side to avoid a hole and I trod 
on a snake. He was gorged and a lump showed that 
he was newly fed. A foot away was a sand-grouse’s 
nest full of eggs. Eagerly, witli eyes watching that no 
one took them away from me, I ate the eggs hurriedly. 
They were set and about to hatch, but in my life I have 
tasted nothing so sweet as the raw wet meat in those 
eggs. 

At last we reached the low range of hills that lies 
above Mosul, and as we came down the slope in the 
dawn, the city lay below us. A soft mist from the river 
gave the picture beauty. The minarets and the mosques 
shone golden in the sun. Beyond it lay the ruins of 
Nineveh. It was pleasant to come down into its dark, 
shaded, twisting streets. We were back in the age of 
the great Khalifs. The mysteries of the Arabian Nights 
were there, and the Street of the Rope-Makers and the 
Hunchback and the latticed windows with their promise 
of black-eyed veiled women watching. We were in 
another age, so that when we came to the cavalry 
barracks in the great square we found one of our inter- 
preters had preceded us, for he was hung in chains over 
the main gate, as a warning. 

We lodged foully in those barracks where vermin and 
filth were plentiful. The open country was better, and 
we were glad once more to move off. 

We left the Tigris behind us with many deep regrets, 
for in all this hard, cruel land it alone had shown itself 
kind. We went westwards through parched open 
p lains till we came to the village of Nisibin, and in 



26 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


this oasis we rested. It is a village of Jews, and full of 
gardens and trees. We bought eggs and fresh milk and 
slept in a green meadow beside a stream, where the fish 
came catching flies and it was good to bathe. The 
green came pleasant to the eyes, tired with staring under 
the sun out over bumt-up plains. 

Beyond Nisibin lay the same great plain. In times of 
peace it should have been full of corn and barley, for this 
is a rich land, but the Turks had massacred the Armenians. 
As far as the eye could see stood corn uncut and untended, 
shrivelling in the sun. We passed ruined villages where 
the wells were full of bodies and where bodies lay in 
the torn and burnt houses. On every side there was 
desolation and ruin and the population driven away or 
murdered. Being thirsty, I ran to get a drink from a 
spring that bubbled and laughed its way out of a cave 
beneath two trees. The water came out foul, for tlxe 
cave was full of dead bodies. 

On the whole I wasbeast-likeand unmoved, but occasion- 
ally some incident would rouse me. In the plain beyond 
Nisibin we met a body of Turkish gendarmes, who 
stopped for a while to talk to our guards and then pushed 
on again. One of them carried a whip and as he swung 
into his saddle he flicked a woman who sat resting and 
drove her into a trot before him. My blood boiled 
with impotent rage. They were selling these Armenian 
women for a few shillings in the bazaars of Aleppo and 
Mosul. 

We had not gone many miles before the British orderlies 
came to me, because I knew the language. White with 
anger, they told me how that a mile back they had found 



THE MARCH INTO CAPTIVITY 


27 


a British soldier lying near the road almost dead of 
dysentery and that one of our guards, who was an Arab, 
had put sand into the sick man’s mouth and so murdered 
him. I too was angry, and I spoke with the Arab and 
cursed him fiercely, and he was surprised and even 
indignant. 

“ What ! ” he said, “ that man would have died this 
night and the jackals would have been at his feet while 
he was yet alive ! ” He was doing a kindness in his 
own way, and so far apart were our ways of thought that 
there was no means of bridging the gulf. 

When there was water handy we halted and slept 
beside it. After one such halt, as we moved off, we 
found that a new body of men had joined us. They 
were sepoys and Indian followers. They were starved 
and nearly naked. One had no more than a puttee, and 
this he had wound round his loins. His ribs stood out 
as in a famine. We examined them carefully, and one 
by one we recognized them as deserters. Our guards 
cursed them. Our men would have nothing to do 
with them. They would give them no food nor money. 
After a meal they cleaned up every crumb, so that even 
an ant might not find a piece of food. They drove them 
back behind us, and so one by one the deserters fell 
out and in the open desert paid their penalty. 

At Ras-al-Ain we met the head of the railway as it 
crept, like some great caterpillar, slowly down across 
Asia towards Bagdad, the railway that was to be the 
key to the East. We followed its track across the 
Euphrates and so down into the great city of Aleppo. 

We were lodged in little hotels that were hardly less 



28 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


foul than the cavalry barracks of Bagdad, and they 
were far more cramped, for we were not allowed out. 
When the time came to settle our accounts, we were 
warned that if we did not pay we should be forced to 
stay there until we did. The stale stench of those 
hotels was sufficient. We paid gladly to get once more 
out on to the open road. We travelled by train to the 
foot of the Amanus Mountains and climbed over them 
on foot. We marched in a pitch-dark night, and I 
found myself soon far ahead of the column. Behind 
me came the beat of a powerful motor-car on low gear. 
In the car was a German officer and a woman. As I 
stepped into the ditch to give it room the headlights 
showed that there was a body lying close beside me. 
I came to it warily and struck a match and shaded the 
flame to look. It was the body of a woman. I drew 
back, thinking it must be some quick disease such as 
the plague, and then I saw that in her arms was a child 
with its head beaten in, and that the woman had been 
dragged some yards along the road. Up all that steep 
road there were bodies of men, women and children in 
the ditches, some had just fallen, worn out, and some 
had been killed. 

We crossed the mountains and came down to a field 
set with mulberry groves, where we slept, and when I 
woke I heard the sound of women and children, and in 
the next field were a crowd of Armenians and with them 
white-bearded priests. I saw them marched away over 
the country under the escort of armed gendarmes. 
They were being marched slowly to death, and the 
bodies I had seen by the roadside in the Amanus 



THE MARCH INTO CAPTIVITY 


29 

Mountains were those of them who could not keep 
up. 

The train carried us to Tarsus, and far out we could 
see the sea and on the horizon smoke that they told us 
was that of a British battleship. We were raced over 
the Taurus Mountains by Germans in motor-lorries and 
entrained at Bozanti. We travelled by train across 
Anatolia to the junction of Eski-Shehir. Packed tight 
into carriages we were unable to sleep. Never before 
had I realized that the lack of sleep could hurt as vividly 
as a blow. We came at last to the town of Angora, far 
back in the Anatolian plateau, and from there, with our 
belongings in country carts, we marched through the 
wild mountains of the country, through pine forests 
and through little villages in long green valleys set 
between bare hills, and so by this steep mountain road 
we came at last to Kustamouni, which lies close beside 
the Black Sea. 



CHAPTER IV 


Captivity 

K USTAMOUNI was a typical town such as may 
be seen all over Anatolia. Our road ran 
between scattered broken-down houses and 
little gardens buttressed up with loose stone walls, up 
a narrow valley beside a shallow rapid stream. On each 
side of us were steep hills of rock, scarred and twisted 
and barren. At the head of the valley on a steep cliff 
frowned a stone castle, and round it was grouped, as if 
for safety, the main portion of the town. Below the 
castle I looked back, and beyond the narrow valley I 
could see that the country widened to a broad plain 
full of com and grass. Round the plain were steep 
hills that rose into mountains and stretched peak after 
peak far away into the distance. Wherever I went 
in Anatolia I saw that view in replica. 

We were lodged near by the castle in a large Greek 
school. The floors were of well-planed wood on which 
we should have walked in stockinged feet, and our 
heavy boots soon tore them into splinters. 

Utterly tired as we were, it came as a relief, as a sigh 
of pleasure, to sit down on a chair in a room that shut 
out the open insistent world. It was strange and pleasant 

30 



CAPTIVITY 


3 * 

to put one’s knees under a table and eat with knife and 
fork. 

But I had long dreaded the moment that we should 
stop travelling, for I had realized the strain and reaction 
of inactivity. I was fit and hard, and as the days passed, 
my body clamoured for the physical activity to which it 
had become accustomed. We were not allowed out. It 
became terrible to be shut away from the sun and the air 
and the open night sky full of stars. My body, as 
it were, crept with energy revolting against restraint 
and confinement. I paced up and down like a wild 
animal unable to keep still. 

Gradually we settled down into the monotony of a 
prisoner’s life in which the day’s work is the getting 
through it. Our guards were quaint old reservists, 
dressed in shabby blue uniforms that had shrunk ridicu- 
lously up their arms and legs. They wore for their 
equipment a belt with a cartouche box and carried old 
rifles that were more noisy than dangerous. These 
were given to them on the policy that they were sufficient 
to sound the alarm but useless to us, if we made a dash 
for liberty. 

The guards were terribly afraid of us when we first 
arrived. We were, I think, to them something strange, 
half wild animals and half superior beings which might 
do something unusual, but which they had at all costs 
to keep safe. They could never have prevented our 
breaking out, but ffieir gims would have alarmed the 
countryside which was full of soldiers, armed police 
and gendarmes. The sergeant in charge was a little 
fellow of fifty, whom we nicknamed “ Puck.” On the 



32 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


first day I looked out of a window from the third story 
of the house. All round were steep cliffs. Puck caught 
sight of me. With a wild grimace he blew his whistle, 
summoned his men to his aid and levelled his rifle pre- 
pared to fire. For some minutes they watched me 
suspiciously, and then, satisfied that I could not fly, they 
went back to the guard-room to smoke. 

Here, as always during these years of captivity, we 
held a moral superiority over the Turk. He was always 
trying to win our approval, always explaining his actions 
to us, and he showed us a deference, mixed with ill- 
treatment, that made a curious blend. He would try 
to treat us up to our standards of living, and then he 
would grow tired of it and let things conform to the 
poor conditions of his own country. 

I became terribly ill with an internal trouble and, as 
dengue fever which knotted all my joints came too, the 
doctors decided to send me for exchange. On a Novem- 
ber morning I was hoisted into a country cart and, 
with an escort and accompanied by a Turkish officer 
of the old-fashioned type, a certain Sherif Bey, I set 
out for Constantinople. We followed the same road as 
that by which we had marched up. We trekked across 
the mountain plateau and over high passes from where 
we looked down over miles of forests of pines that sighed 
together like a great sea. 

The movement and the air revived me and I began 
rapidly to grow well. Seeing the hopes of exchange 
disappearing, I strove to remain sick. It was bitterly 
cold. The wind blew from the north straight off the 
Black Sea and the frozen Crimea. We came one early 



CAPTIVITY 


33 


morning to the head of a pass. A fog covered everything, 
and so intense was the cold that the fog froze on the 
trees, and even under my blankets in my cart I was 
chilled. The cart stopped and I looked out to see what 
was the matter. On the road were a number of dogs 
and donkeys and, among them, unconcerned, without 
any other covering but their ordinary clothes, lay asleep 
their Turkish drivers. Shouted at, they woke up, shook 
themselves, and urged their animals to get up and clear 
the road. They saluted my Turkish officer respectfully 
as we passed. I was amazed at the hardihood of the 
Turkish peasants. At Bagdad and on the march up 
I had seen our guards lie down on stone floors, not 
troubling to loosen their coats or shift their bandoliers 
of ammunition, and there with a butt of a rifle or an 
arm as a pillow, they slept as if in a feather bed. 

The guards, the cart drivers, a number of travellers 
who had joined us for fear of the brigands that filled 
the mountains, Sherif Bey and I lived all close together. 
At night we stopped at some house and in the wide 
hearth piled up wood and dried dung and made a great 
blaze, and drank tea and ate what the householder gave 
us free of charge. There is a curious state of democracy 
among the Turks. They respect the man not at all, 
but they respect his ofiice. The head-man of the vil- 
lage, elected yearly by the males, had appointed our 
lodging, and he would come to feed with us. One by 
one all the men of the village would come, slipping off 
their shoes at the door and making the' triple salaam 
as they advanced across the room. They behaved 
with dignity and with none of that nervous arrogance 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


34 

of our Northern democrats, who distrust their ability 
to hold their own and are for ever expecting to be lightly 
treated. These Turks would wait till asked to sit down, 
and then they would talk openly and freely, criticizing 
the greatest to their faces in courteous but forceful 
terms. Using the correct titles of “ Pasha ” or “ Bey ” 
or “ Effendi ” for each, they spoke none the less as 
man to man and as equals, except that they respected 
the old, and when a man might spe^ quoting the authority 
of his office they paid him due deference. 

Here, away in Anatolia, far from the railway and 
the sea, I was getting a last glimpse of the Ottoman 
Turk as he had been and as he had come down from 
the days of his greatness. The great Turkish Empire 
of the sixteenth century had sagged to its fall and been 
buttressed here and there. It had been saved sometimes 
by the ability of a Grand Vizier, sometimes by sudden 
bursts of vitality and the quarrels of its neighbours. 
Now it was disappearing by reason of decay. The 
villages through which we passed were empty of young 
men, and where there were Christians they were dis- 
loyal and, if the chance occurred, whispered treason to 
me. There was a sense of deadness. They were 
simple, sturdy folk, these Turkish peasants. They 
made no pretence of wishing to fight in this war. I 
saw none of the wild enthusiasm of other countries, 
except among the recruits we met singing along the roads, 
but they were young and excited. For the rest, the 
country and the people were tired of the everlasting 
wars, and ever and again they cursed Enver Pasha 
and his German crew. 





CAPTIVITY 


35 


They were a kindly, hospitable people, slowly roused 
and then capable of terrible anger and tremendous 
energy. They were the last of the aristocrats, with 
their vices and their virtues. They ruled as by Divine 
Right, as part of a caste, and without political theories. 
They were not vicious or cruel, but they did not under- 
stand pain in others. They had a profound contempt 
for the rest of mankind, and inherent laziness covered 
by great courtesy. Inefficient to distraction, they were 
eminently lovable. Their sense of humour was simple. 
Sleeping round the hot embers of the fire I was night 
after night awaked by the hideous snores of a carter, 
who had a face like a frog and slept with his mouth 
wide open. At last in desperation I begged some one 
to wake up Balik Pasha ^ or the “ Fish Pasha ^ and shut 
his fly-trap of a mouth. The name stuck. For a 
week the word “ Balik roused a roar of laughter. 
Some one on the march would call for Balik Pasha 
with the fly-trap mouth,’* and from end to end of the 
caravan, drivers and guards and passengers in the carts 
would shout with laughter and call one to another. 
People used to wake the little fellow at all times to tell 
him his nickname and then roar with applause, in which 
he would join. They would, as is their custom, get up 
at one or two in the morning, kick the fire into life and 
light cigarettes, and then one would call “ Balik Pasha ” 
and the whole room would rock with laughter till they 
lay down to sleep again. Long afterwards a general 
came to inspect the troops in the area. He heard men 
talk of Balik Pasha,” and incautiously asked who he 
was. So they brought the little carter before the general, 



36 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

and a whole countryside laughed and the story became a 
legend. 

At last we came again to Angora, which had become 
terrible, for half the town was newly burnt and the 
refugees camped where they could. The market-place 
was full of triangles on which hung the bodies of many 
brigands and deserters ; for all the country was dis- 
organized and discontented, and robbers had made every 
road unsafe. 

We travelled by the same railway route as that up 
which I had come. But this time there was ample 
room, for Sherif Bey requisitioned a coupe for me, and 
this he filled up with flour. This he sold at a good 
profit in Constantinople ; for the Grand Vizier had 
made a corner in wheat and so the people paid a big 
price for their flour. Sherif Bey was a genial good 
soul, and at every station acquaintances came into the 
train to see him and squatted down cross-legged on the 
flour and drank black coffee. After gongs had been 
sounded and whistles blown and a polite guard had 
asked the gentlemen to get oflF, they left, still calling 
good-bye, and then came back again with some last 
message, and so we dawdled in this kindly, lazy fashion 
across Anatolia. There was little organization, and none 
of the drive and concentration that the war had pro- 
duced in other countries. On the train was a newspaper 
editor who was a Member of Parliament. He talked 
in French, and in his frock-coat and striped Bond Street 
trousers and patent leather shoes squatted with his 
knees under him. He told me that Turkey was fighting 
for liberty from foreign interference, and he pictured 



CAPTIVITY 


37 


the new empire that would grow from victory. He 
spoke in a Western language of Western ideas, but he 
was Eastern in mentality and habits. 

We came out of the Anatolian plateau down on to 
the shores of the Sea of Marmora, running through the 
rich little villages that are grouped on its northern 
shore, till we saw before us St. Sophia and the Great 
Seraglio and Stambul slumbering in the late autumn 
sun. 

I was taken to the great hospital of Skutari that faces 
Stambul across the mouth of the Bosphorus. In my 
ward were a dozen Turkish ofScers suffering from foul 
and loathsome diseases, and a Russian Tartar officer, a 
wild, mad fellow with a good heart. Close by were a 
number of British soldiers with amputated arms and 
legs waiting to be exchanged. They were the victims 
of a reprisal. The Ottoman Government had heard of 
some arrangement for the Turkish prisoners in Egypt 
of which they did not approve. To square matters 
they ordered these poor wounded prisoners to be put 
into an Armenian church, their bandages removed and 
to be left to fend for themselves. There was an Austra- 
lian who had been wounded in the ankle. In the church 
the wound gangrened and his leg had to be amputated 
just below the hip. Now they were full of good cheer 
and had asserted their independence and bullied the 
hospital staff. But the arrangements for the exchange 
fell through, and we prepared to be sent to a prison 
camp. 

It was a terrible place, that hospital. As two Ger- 
man sisters supervised an army of cleaners who were 



38 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

always at work, it was clean, but the corridors were 
full of dead and dying. Doctors visited and wrote 
prescriptions and ordered diets, but there were no 
medicines to be issued, and as to diet, what the patient 
could afford and what the hospital orderly could buy 
decided that. The sick who were brought in from 
the various fronts were starved, and all organization 
seemed to have broken down. Pneumonia and dysentery 
found easy prey in their starved bodies, and they died 
in hundreds. The corridors as well as the wards were 
crowded. The dirty attendants, in filthy uniforms and 
with slip-on shoes or just socks full of holes, took little 
notice of the patients. I saw men die with a rattle 
while the attendants finished a game of cards close by. 
Their main duties were to carry away the dead. The 
rows of unattended, unwatched, pallid dying were 
unspeakably terrible ; and yet in all tills hospital I heard 
no one complain. 

Ag ains t US, their enemies, I found no animosities. 
Even the German nurses, though full of fierce patriotism, 
did all they could for us. The Turkish officers were 
courteous and polite. They showed no enthusiasm 
for the war. They avoided all controversial subjects. 
When we happened to talk of the war, they told me 
glowing accounts of the success of the British troops. 
It was a curious trait of the Turks to over-represent the 
success of the enemy. Thus, when we had captured 
Bagdad they assured me that we were in Mosul. 

Only once did we seriously disagree. As is their 
custom, they used to wake at two in the morning, turn 
on the electric light and smoke, talk, and even sing. The 



CAPTIVITY 


39 


Tartar officer and I found this a very wearisome practice. 
So when the first light showed before dawn and the 
cocks began to crow we took station at opposite corners 
of the room and solemnly called the Call to Prayer, 
imitating all the trills and affectations of the professional 
Muezzin. And while I called that “ God is great ’’ 
the Tartar, who was a Moslem, kept up a running com- 
ment of: 

Get up, you lazy beasts. A Giaour^ an unbe- 
liever, calls you to prayer. Are you not ashamed to 
lie abed ? 

At first there were faint querulous complaints from 
the other beds, and then stronger, till the room was 
full of protests, and one Turk cried out and asked 
what was the matter, and the Tartar replied: 

If you can wake and sing and smoke when the night is 
black, it is a small thing for you to wake and pray in the 
rose of dawn,’^ and I bellowed the special call for the 
morning : 

Prayer is better than sleep.’’ 

Henceforth we slept in peace, and when they smoked 
in the night the Turks held the cigarettes shielded 
under the palm of the hand. 

Below my window was the cemetery in which lie 
buried the British who died during the Crimean War. 
They had died to keep the Russian out of Constantinople, 
and less than 6o years later we had promised the city 
to Russia as the reward of victory. From below the 
cemetery came up the sounds of the whistles and snorts 
of the trains in Haidar Pasha station, which is the Turkish 
junction on the Berlin to Bagdad railway. Much of the 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


40 

world’s history had been connected with that route. 
Cyrus of Persia and Alexander of Macedon and half the 
world’s conquerors have marched along it. In the 
hands of a Great Power it always has been, and it is to-day, 
the key to the Middle East, threatening Egypt, Arabia, 
Irak, and even the Indies. The Germans had got that 
control and the power to use it, and this was one of 
the potent factors that led to the Entente and the World 
War. 

To the right of the hospital was a courtyard, and 
there the recruits awaiting medical inspection and the 
men discharged from hospital assembled each day. A 
sergeant dealt out a loaf of bread all round and grouped 
the men into parties of eight. From each group he 
selected a man, issued a tin bowl to him, fell them in 
and marched them off. They came back singly with the 
bowl full of soup. As soon as they arrived at their 
own group each man produced a wooden spoon, sat 
down on his heels and all set to work to ladle up as much 
as they could. On this ration twice a day in prosperous 
times, and some two shillings a month in pay, the Turkish 
soldier marched and fought, wearing the same clothes 
summer and winter without change till they fell to pieces ; 
and he complained but little. 

Sometimes a recruit failed to get his share of the soup. 
I watched him with uplifted spoon protest to the sergeant, 
who was a little squat fellow with a square face like a 
disgruntled bull-dog. He and the recruit would advance 
on each other with arms uplifted, calling on Allah in 
many wonderful ways. Face to face they would exhibit 
such a wealth of gesture and language that it seemed to 



CAPTIVITY 


41 

me inevitable that a fierce fight must result. Suddenly 
the recruit would shrug his shoulders in despair and 
turn away and the little man would stump off on his bow 
legs. At fifty yards, as at a given signal, they would 
turn round and come tearing down on each other gesticu- 
lating and calling aloud, and would then repeat the same 
scene. Even a third and fourth repetition of this would 
occur, and then the sergeant would stump off for good, 
and the recruit with a shrug, and often with a grin, 
would squat down with his friends and roll a cigarette. 
Quarrels in this strange country seemed to have a recog- 
nized formality. 

in the bed on my right was a young Turkish officer, 
a nephew of Enver Pasha, the Minister of War and to all 
intents and purposes the dictator of Turkey. Enver 
visited his nephew and then turned to me. He was a 
small, clean-cut, handsome little man with more self- 
assurance than ability, but with unlimited courage. 
He had that element of drive and energy that the Turk as 
a rule lacks. He had moreover the power of persistent 
effort which is the rarest quality in the East, He appeared 
to be a dangerous man in a comer, and one who would 
take great risks because he believed that his luck would 
pull him through. He inquired as to my health, and 
politely regretted that the exchange of prisoners had 
failed. Pie hoped that I was comfortable, and told 
me that the Turkish nation would treat me as its honoured 
guest. That phrase of “ honoured guest ” angered me. 
It had been said to us by high dignitaries at Mosul and 
Bagdad and Aleppo and in Kustamouni. Suddenly I 
realized that it was owing to this man’s orders that the 



42 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

desert road was littered with the corpses of good British 
soldiers and that a score lay mutilated in the next ward. 
Seeing him only through the red haze of anger, I sum- 
moned all my scanty Turkish to my assistance and bade 
him get away and go to the devil. He was unmoved, 
but in French he politely regretted my lack of courtesy 
and gave orders that I should be removed forthwith to 
the prison at the Ministry of War. 



CHAPTER V 

The Stambul Prison 

A MILITARY policeman, with a collar round his 
neck like a dog’s with a tablet to show who 
he was, came to fetch me. The Turkish 
officers assured me that I was to be lodged in one of the 
grand hotels of Pera, but now I had learnt the etiquette 
of the country and so I invited them all to dine with me 
at the “ Grand Hotel.” 

With my policeman I crossed over by boat from the 
Asiatic side to Stambul. A street arab found us a crazy 
cab, which took us up narrow steep twisting streets of 
cobbles, so crowded that the driver cracked his whip and 
called continuously to obtain room to pass. In the half 
evening light these jumbled streets with their nondescript 
crowds seemed fantastic and unreal. 

We drove up to a tall gateway where a sentry halted 
us and we got out and walked. It was the great square 
of the War Office. Above us the tower of Stambul, from 
where the watchman calls the alarm for fires, stood clear 
up into the night sky. The moon was sinking cool and 
wonderful and the stars twinkled merrily. Below us 
was Stambul, alive with lamps, and the Golden Horn 
tom into long streab of light as motor-boats raced across 

43 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


44 

it. The roar of the great city came up to us. The even- 
ing air tasted good and sweet. We came to a long, low 
red building, and a sentry opened double iron doors and 
called a sergeant, who took us in. As the doors crashed 
to behind me, my soul revolted. From below us came 
up the foul stench of unclean men and unclean rooms. I 
was still weak and shaky after my illness, and the reek 
made my gorge rise. 

In a small ojEce the governor of the prison, Jemal Bey, 
received me. He was a small man, slim, smart and neat, 
with a cruel face and steel-blue eyes that, like a snake’s, 
never winked. He was Enver’s jackal. This prison 
was the scene of many tragedies, and many unwanted 
persons had died in it of typhus or some other convenient 
disease. It was Jemal who had to do this dirty work. 

He led me down an iron staircase, along dark passages 
where on each side were cellar-like rooms crowded with 
three-tier beds and prisoners by the hundred, till we 
came to a wooden door. This he opened and indicated 
that I was to enter. I drew back, for it was dark, and he 
gave some order to the sentry, who pushed me roughly 
in and closed the door, and I heard Jemal’s spurs go 
clanking down the stone passage as he walked away. 

Suddenly an electric light was turned on, and I saw that 
I was in a narrow and short but lofty little room and that 
the electric light was far up in the ceiling. It was so 
narrow a room that it was only just large enough to hold 
two beds end to end. It appeared to be half underground 
and a grating high in one wall gave air. There was a 
touch of humour in it — ^this mediaeval dungeon fitted 
with one crown of modern civilization, electricity as light. 



THE STAMBUL PRISON 


45 

It came to me that it was typical of all I had seen in this 
country, this insertion of the wonders of progressive 
Europe into the primitive unchanged base of Asia. 

On the farther bed sat a man who swayed and ran a 
string of beads through his fingers and said his prayers 
softly, looking always fixedly up at the little grating. 
After a while he turned round, bade me welcome, and 
we fell into conversation as far as my broken Turkish 
allowed. It transpired that he was here for the murder 
of his wife, and for many a long day we discussed the 
ethics of wife-murder. He taught me much — of the 
way to bribe the soldier with the smallest amount 
necessary to get food and permission to carry out the 
ordinary decencies of life, and he gave me an insight 
into the mind of a fatalist that sees no use in effort. He 
had no regrets, because it was inevitable that he should 
have murdered the woman, as it was inevitable, and 
already written whether or no he should be hung. He 
amused himself by laboriously cleaning each day a 
celluloid collar and then wrapping it up in paper and 
hanging it on a nail. He made life uncomfortable in 
some ways, for I had to sleep on my boots and money 
and anything else thievable, but when they came one 
night and dragged him away I missed him sadly. 

I had lost count of days, though I could not have 
been long in this cell. I had little to do except to listen 
to the tread of the sentry, or the clank of a chained 
prisoner as he swept out the corridor. On the bed 
there was a straw mattress alive with great big bugs 
that swarmed in hundreds, and with them came fleas. 
In desperation I caught them and quickly filled a match- 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


46 

box of the dead and alive. I made a neat parcel of the 
box and gave it to the sentry, telling him that it was very 
valuable and to be delivered straight to Enver Pasha. 
Whether it reached its destination I cannot say, but 
next day a band of convicts under a wai-der cleaned 
out my loathsome cell. Life was as mean and unliveable 
as it well could be. I sat in the cold, sometimes in the 
dark, sometimes with the electric light, with nothing to 
do and only as much food as I could bribe the good- 
natured but equally hungry sentry to bring, without 
change of clothes or wash or shave, except an occasional 
splash in cold water, and with my clothes alive with 
vermin. 

With a pencil and paper I slowly scratched in Turkish 
a letter of protest to the Governor of Stambul. It 
produced a sudden and quite unexpected reply. I was 
summoned to his office, and under escort I came out 
blinking into the sun, across the Great Square and so 
up the marble steps by the gateway and into the 
Governor’s house. I found myself in a large room 
fitted with uncomfortable Victorian furniture. Facing 
me behind a large writing-table was a handsome man 
with a big body and a strong face. He held my letter 
in his hand. “ What do you mean,” he began in French, 
“ by writing to me in this insolent way ? ” 

“ What,” I replied, “ do you mean by shutting me, 
a British officer and a prisoner-of-war, into a filthy 
condemned cell without light or exercise ? ” 

The man was a bully. His manner changed at once. 
“ Perhaps my French is not good,” he said, and called 
to a woman who sat veiled on a sofa. He bade the guard 



THE STAMBUL PRISON 


47 


call Jemal Bey from the prison and to wait outside. 
The woman stepped forward and lifted her veil. I was 
astounded. This was the first time that I had seen a 
Turkish woman of the aristocratic class. Her eyes 
were black and set in a face as white and clear as pure 
marble so that the veins showed blue through the skin. 
Her hair was hidden in a dainty little cloak that was 
drawn over it and was tied under it behind, coming 
down round the shoulders as far as the hands. Two 
curls alone showed over the ears. She wore high- 
heeled French shoes and silk stockings and a shortish 
skirt that was pleated to the waist. She spoke perfect 
English in a soft modulated voice and translated into 
smooth Turkish so that it was like the running of water 
over a hollow rock into a hidden pool. She was scented 
and exquisitely dainty. 

The lady dropped her veil as Jemal entered. He was 
bullied and cursed by the Governor and eventually he 
was beaten across the face and ordered away. I am 
sure that he had only carried out his orders, but the 
Governor hated the Germans and Enver, and what 
Enver had ordered would be to him automatically wrong. 

I returned to a new room in the prison, light and airy, 
and looking out over the city. At times I was allowed 
into a garden with an escort. Below me was a sheer 
wall some eighty feet high, and below that the city of 
Stambul ran down straight to the Golden Horn that was 
for ever alive with boats. Beyond was Pera, and far 
away to the right Skutari and the blue Sea of Marmora 
and the mountains of Anatolia. Beside me was the 
Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent, with its great 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


48 

massive domes and its delicate minarets, from which the 
Muezzin would call to prayer, and then all the other 
mosques would take up the call. 

As I went from my room to the garden through the 
corridors I passed many of the huge cells full of prisoners. 
I could see them playing cards. Men of all ages and of 
all classes, by the look of it, appeared to be muddled 
together. They stank as if with pestilence, but it was 
merely accumulated dirt. They seemed to be a com- 
munity apart, gambling and drinkmg tea and dragging 
their chains about clanking on the floor. They formed 
a sort of subterranean world living its own life. Some- 
where there was a torture-room for I heard regular 
blows and screams and groans, but my guards denied 
its existence. All the prison was foul and full of evil 
smells. 

I was treated now with as much leniency as previously 
I had been treated harshly. I was allowed, with my police- 
man, to go into the tovm and buy things. There were 
troops in the Great Square practising the goose-step, 
but beyond that and many German ofKcers racing about 
in powerful cars there was little or no sign of war. This 
city appeared to be outside it and uninterested. I 
realized that the soul of the Ottoman Empire had long 
since fled, but that a few capable vigorous men, such as 
Enver, kept flogging the body on to fresh efforts. 

In the prison I was given more liberty. My door 
was always open. My guard grew slack. One morning 
I saw that he was asleep and that his fez had fallen off. 
In a second I was out. The greasiness of his fez revolted 
me, but I put it on. In the grey light I picked my way 



THE STAMBUL PRISON 


49 


cautiously through the corridors till I came to the 
unfinished gate by the garden and there I saw that the 
sentry had gone to drink tea. Dawn was just coming 
up over the Marmora. Below in the city blue smoke 
began to float up in wisps, as the world woke. I could 
hear the sentry sucking noisily at his tea. I stepped 
out and round the corner to a point I had noted on the 
wall, where the ground below ran up steeply and a tele- 
graph pole came within a few feet of the top of the 
wall. 

I looked over. It was sheer down and beyond that 
the hill fell away almost sheer. Gripping my fear, I 
lay down on the top of the wall and prepared to roll 
over and hang by my arms while my feet felt for the 
strut that held the telegraph pole to the wall. I dared 
not look down, for I am no great hand at heights. As I 
hesitated one second before I slipped over I felt my 
sleeve furtively plucked. By me stood my guard with 
terror in his eyes. He beckoned me back, indicating 
that I should keep silent. He replaced his fez on his 
head and together we returned quietly. As we passed 
the gate I heard the sentry still sucking at his tea. 
Hereafter my guards did not sleep on duty and watched 
me closely. 


£ 



CHAPTER VI 


The Prison Camp in Anatolia 

O NE day Jemal Bey brought me orders to get 
ready to go to Afion-Kara-Hissar, a prisoners’ 
camp in Anatolia. With him he brought a 
policeman and he showed me to the door of the prison. 
I think he was glad to see the last of me. I was an 
unknown quantity, and a potential source of trouble. In 
his cold-blooded steely-eyed way he saluted me as if I was 
a prince of the blood. The sentry stood to attention and 
in my dirty old clothes I strode away with my policeman. 

We threaded our way down the steep crowded streets, 
but my policeman gave me no chance to slip away. We 
had to wait for a boat on Galata Bridge while evening 
turned to night. The Golden Horn came down to us 
in a curve. It was packed with Arab-looking craft that 
lie in here for the night and make a forest of masts. 
Beyond them the Turkish destroyers stood out grim. 
A motor-boat or two raced noisily to its moorings. A 
German submarine slid stealthily under the bridge on 
the way out to sea. On one side Galata and Pera were 
grouped, gaunt and sordid towns, ill-civilized and ugly. 
On the other was Stambul, picturesque and frankly 
Eastern. A mist crept up and clothed the city in 

50 



THE PRISON CAMP IN ANATOLIA 51 

mystery. The moon warmed from cold cloud white to 
yellow as it sailed up the sky. It threw the mosques 
and minarets into dark shadows, and its reflection 
swayed and shivered on the water as some boat broke 
the surface into waves. A fish leaped where there was 
a path of light between the boats. Far away a watchman 
called and beat on the ground with his pole, and near 
at hand his mate replied. Two Arabs in a boat below 
us were cooking in a brazier. The night was full of 
untrammelled liberty, and when my policeman called 
me to come I was minded to break away. 

We came once more to Haidar Pasha station, and 
passed the barrier where the police were searching 
passengers for gold or silver and giving paper in exchange. 
Before we had travelled an hour the train stopped, and 
I was invited by a crowd of officers to see the place where 
a British submarine had shelled a train. She had dived 
under the mines in the narrow Dardanelles, crossed the 
inland Sea of Marmora and here in the centre of the 
enemy’s country opened fire. The Turks congratulated 
me on the courage of the commander. They looked on it 
as a fine feat and one to be made much of. I could not 
help thinking that a German or an Englishman would have 
taken a far different view if it had been in his country. 

We travelled back to Eski-Shehir and down the line 
towards Konia, in the same old haphazard way. It 
was the main line of communication for the armies 
fighting in Syria and Mesopotamia. At the various 
stations Germans endeavoured to hurry things up and 
instil some energy into the traffic, but they ran straight 
into a stone wall of indifference, and with this indifference 



52 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


was mixed a bitter dislike. The Germans treated the 
Turks with high contempt, and more than one told me 
how glad he was to meet another white man in this 
“ native country. They were the motive driving 
force endeavouring to get the old, patched, broken- 
down rusty machinery of the Ottoman Empire to work. 
I was treated with respect. I was confided in by both 
Germans and Turks as to the failings of the other ; 
and I was an enemy and a prisoner. Everything that 
went wrong was put down to the Germans. If there 
was a fire, German soldiers had started it. If food was 
short, it had been shipped to Berlin to feed Germans. 
Sometimes this ill-feeling blazed out into a quarrel. I 
saw a German private get into a carriage with Turkish 
officers and refuse to get out. As if ready for this, a 
dozen Turks rushed at him and dragged him out and 
locked him into a waiting-room. 

We came to Afion-Kara-Hissar, that stands high up 
in the Anatolian plateau, and found it had the same 
narrow valley, the same castle on a rock and the same 
broad plain beyond, as there was at Kustamouni ; only 
that here in the plain they grew miles of glowing red 
poppies instead of com. 

There had been a camp here for a long time, and 
some 200 officers, British, French and Russian, were 
imprisoned. Once more I settled down to the dx-eary 
monotony of a prisoner’s life. Time slipped by un- 
noticed. There was, between the houses in which we 
lived, a narrow street to walk in by day. All day and 
every day there was nothing to do. We made work. 
We walked in the street. We read aimlessly the books 



THE PRISON CAMP IN ANATOLIA 53 

we got occasionally from home. The future was un- 
certain. We might be here for years. One pessimist 
told us that French prisoners had been kept in England 
from 1793 to 1815. We kept our self-respect only by 
truculence to our captors. We became detached and, 
even about the World War, impassive. Our news was 
from German communiques, and it all seemed distant 
and vague. We lived closed together without privacy, 
without for one minute being able to get away from each 
other. We lived so close, cheek by jowl, that we did 
not realize that we grew older. Life stood still. There 
was no movement nor definite clear-cut action. We 
were unmoved like rocks on a hillside among other rocks. 
There seemed to be no past nor any future. Time did not 
pass. No one grew old or changed, for we grew side by 
side and being so close we did not see — ^unless some one 
blossomed out into grey hair or lapsed into imbecility. 

We were a monastic community, without the ideals 
and enthusiasm of monks, or the rigid discipline and 
definite future of convicts. Our food was the coarse 
peasant food of the country and as poor as that of any 
monastery. No woman came into our lives, but we had 
no strong vows of celibacy to keep the warmth of youth 
out of our blood. At the sight, far out beyond the 
road, of a woman, be she ever so ill-favoured and dirty, 
a thrill of excitement ran down the street. This absence 
of a component part of life had its distinct effect, and 
we became after a while numb and half-senseless. The 
Russian prisoners had a woman or two hidden among 
them disguised as men, until they quarrelled over them 
and the Turks found out. The French officers were 



54 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


frank. They received from their wives, ;not photographs 
or trinkets as mementoes, but pieces of dainty under- 
clothing which they kept beneath their pillows. The 
British tried to avoid facts and succeeded to some extent. 
I realized that a life free from woman would be free 
from the passionate despondent hours, of the nights of 
despair, of heart-burnings and remorse, but that it 
would be stale, flat, and tasteless ; for even in remorse 
there is a touch of self-satisfied pride. 

I could not sit idle. Against the established general 
opinion of the camp that it was wrong to attempt it, I 
prepared to escape. At the eleventh hour our plans 
were given away, and late one night I was called before 
the commandant of the camp. He was a foul beast, 
half Arab and half Turk, with the vices of both. He 
was a short sturdy man with a coarse evil face, named 
Mazlum Bey. He had committed terrible bestialities, 
beaten men to death, stolen our food, and done unname- 
able offences by force on our soldiers imprisoned else- 
where in the town. When angered he became a wild 
raging madman capable of any atrocity. I lied to him 
freely and he believed not a word because he had expected 
such lies and I and my four companions were shut into 
two rooms and isolated from the rest of the camp until 
we should give our parole. 

For a while resentment kept our spirits up, but as the 
days grew into weeks and the weeks into months I ceased 
to notice the exact details of the passage of time. I 
tried philosophically to let life slip past me, but it 
travelled on unoiled wheels and with difficulty. Day 
after day and night after night I sat and watched the 



THE PRISON CAMP IN ANATOLIA 55 

sky from the window. I could see one little patch 
between the house-tops. Sometimes far up in its blue 
a kite wheeled and cried, or a swallow raced across it, 
or a pigeon shot home with a swoop. Sometimes a 
great free bird would float lazily across it. At night it 
became alive with stars. I swore that in my life I would 
never again keep any wild animal in captivity. The 
sun was but the passing of shadow and light on walls 
opposite. I never walked in it. By straining hard out 
against the bars I could see up the road a skimpy bit 
of tree that showed half its branches to me. It budded 
and became green. It put out rich leaves. It turned 
yellow and once more became bare arms swaying in the 
driving snow. And still the eternal time stood still, 
just swinging in and out from day into night and back 
again. I became too tired to sit or lie down, and then 
too tired to sleep. I thought of great deep gulps of 
strong air after some hard game ; of the smell of free 
running water in the spring and the light green of young 
willows on the Cher at Oxford, of the pulse of a horse 
moving under me, of the kick of life and freedom, and 
then of long, deep, dreamless sleep held soft and warm 
in the arms of unconsciousness. This was the Hell 
of the Living Dead. I fancied that perhaps we were 
dead and unknowingly we were in Hell. I told Robin 
Paul, who was in the next room. He pondered awhile. 
“ No,” he said, “ it cannot be Hell, for I never did any- 
thing bad enough for this.” 

Our persistency, in refusing our parole, had hardened 
to sullen obstinacy, when suddenly the Turks grew 
tired and we returned to the camp as before. 



CHAPTER VII 


The Fall of the Ottoman Empire : Release, 

1918 

A S is ever the way with the Turks, they now 
swung to the other extreme, and our treat- 
ment became as liberal as it had before been 
stringent. I was made staff-officer of the camp. Maz- 
lum Bey was put under arrest with all his officers. To 
complete the picture, the sergeant of the guard, having 
no officer to whom to apply, as they were all in prison, 
and being quite bewildered, came to me for his day’s 
orders. These I gave to him written out laboriously 
in my crude Turkish. Mazlum was tried for his foul- 
ness, and on the court I was the prosecutor and inter- 
preter. Such was the humour of the situation. 

We were given more liberty. At times we got opportu- 
nities to talk to some of our men imprisoned in another 
part of the town. We learnt the details of their march 
up and how all across the Mesopotamian plains and in 
the unorganized camps both British and Indians had 
died by ffie thousand. It appeared that hopeless ineffi- 
ciency and callousness of human life was the main causes, 
while deliberate calculated cruelty was rare. The Turks 
had treated our worn and starved and diseased soldiers 

56 



FALL OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE 57 

as they treated their own men, and both had died like 
flies. Now in a sort of death-bed repentance at this 
eleventh hour the Ottoman Government was treating 
them with great kindness and giving them much liberty. 
But of the thousands that set out from Kut only a few 
hundred remained. These were probably better treated 
than any prisoners have been treated before, except the 
Russians in Japan. They ran their own affairs , attempted 
escapes without punishment, and worked as they 
willed. 

As to the officers, as a whole they were pretty well 
treated, but the life of a prisoner-of-war must always 
be a dreary hardship. 

The iron chain round us began to relax and, as we 
gained more liberty, our spirits rose. There were many 
attempts at escape. We worked night and day in secret 
preparing and studying any maps we could get, and 
copying and enlarging passes and plans sent to us from 
England in split post-cards or cunningly hidden in 
books. But though it was easy to get out of camp, 
the country beyond was wild and barren and made a 
perfect prison wall. It was full of fierce men. It was 
as if one tried to escape from Kabul through the wild 
Afghan tribes over the mountains into India. 

Everywhere there were signs of the Ottoman Empire 
breaking up. In the town, into which we were now 
allowed to go under guard, the people talked with open 
discontent. The hills were full of deserters and brigands. 
Food was short and the prices crept up till only the 
rich could buy sugar and tea and the necessaries of life. 
Our guards had grown slack. I could feel the break 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


58 

coming. The Geimians made great efforts to revive 
their Turkish allies to further effort. So important to 
the succes of the Central Powers was the co-operation 
of Turkey that in 1917 the Kaiser himself paid a state 
visit to the Sultan in Stambul. But the vitality of the 
Ottoman Empire was already gone. 

Within the camp the ordinary life continued. Some 
arranged concert parties. Some plotted escapes. Many 
sat patiently like stalled oxen and waited for the end. 
Some grew wild, and one party gambled heavily. I saw 
a player with a bad hand at poker stake his parcels from 
home and his pay for a month, and so reduced himself 
to living on bread and water for thirty days. 

With care I made my own plans for escape with 
disloyal Arabs and Greeks, but as ever when the last 
minute came they failed me. My final plan was ready 
when orders came to exchange sick prisoners. I had 
helped to arrange details of the exchange, and was at 
the railway station when my attention was directed to 
a waggon in a siding with curtains drawn and a sentry 
on guard. I was allowed to look in. Inside sat some 
forty Germans with their faces in bandages. “ The 
Arabs of Feisal,” he continued, “ did that. They took 
out their eyes, cut off their ears and cut their tongues 
and mutilated them.” In the half-light the men fumbled 
aimlessly or sat dead-still as blind men will. 

The first exchanges were over. All the sick were 
gone when more prisoners for exchange were required. 
I ate cordite, that I had kept hidden, till my heart leapt 
and sighed, and swallowed hard-boiled eggs till a con- 
gested liver turned me yellow. Then with the aid of a 




IIICADMKN OF OTTOMAN GliEISK VJLLACIK.S 




FALL OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE 59 

little sum of money to the doctor I was passed out and 
I boarded the train for Smyrna. 

I knew little of the war. The battles of the Somme 
and Verdun and the Hindenburg Line were vague names 
meaning nothing to me. But I could see that, what- 
ever was happening elsewhere, in Turkey things were 
breaking up. The unwilling worn-out country had been 
kept going by the Germans, and I saw these come 
streaming back up the line from the Eastern fronts. 

In Smyrna it was the same story. The Turks spent 
their time trying to please us. We were allowed to go 
quite free. The troops stationed above the town were 
prepared to revolt. If the war went on much longer 
it appeared that there might be a revolution. The 
Germans were withdrawing, and with them went the 
energy and the driving force. The old cranky patched 
machinery of the Ottoman Empire came crashing down 
with a run. 

While we waited in Smyrna, Bulgaria asked for an 
armistice. We put ourselves — for all else was dis- 
organized — into the ship that waited for us in the road- 
stead. At last we were out, running in the darkness past 
Khios, zigzagging for fear of enemy submarines, but 
free and riding for Egypt. 



CHAPTER VIII 


The First Days of the Armistice 

A t length in j&ne weather we came to Alexandria, 
and after many vexatious delays we got ashore. 
There were no preparations to receive us, but 
imprisonment had taught us to fend for ourselves, and 
we soon found lodgings and clothes. I had always 
laughed at and often sneered at the Turks for their 
inefficiency, and pictured the methodical regulated run- 
ning of any British organization. I had a rude awaken- 
ing, for in Egypt I found the same lack of foresight, 
the same procrastination, the same galling inefficiency 
and the same indifference. We were still in the East. 

I spent my short time there during the day in reading 
up dispatches and reports in the staff offices, and in 
hoping to get on to the French front. I quickly saw 
that the system of government in Egypt, as set up by 
Milner, was gone. In the old days British officials had 
stood secreted behind the Egyptian ministers, guiding 
and advismg them. Under the stress of war they had 
pushed the Egyptians on one side and frankly taken 
control. 

With me I had brought a Turkish officer, who had 
been involved in some of our schemes in Smyrna. At 

60 



THE FIRST DAYS OF THE ARMISTICE 6i 


night we put on fezes and wandered as Turkish officers 
through the alleys and bazaars of Alexandria. In khaki 
by day I could find no one who would speak Turkish, 
but at night it was the language of half the population. 
They crowded round us in caffis, eager to talk and to 
get news. They showed their bitter hatred of the British 
and bemoaned the lax Turkish government of the old 
days. 

But we were eager to be off. We took ship and 
came to the British camp in Taranto. The East dogged 
our steps. The camp was foul and ill run. As we 
travelled through Italy I could not but see the disorder 
and disorganization. 

“ Where have we got to ? ” said one, “ for ‘ East is 
Esilt and West is West and never the twain shall meet.’ ” 
“ We shall leave the East at the Alps,” replied his 
companion. 

As we came to the Simplon Tunnel, we heard that 
the Germans had signed the Armistice ; and so we 
travelled steadily across tom France, and, while they 
still celebrated the end of the war, we came eager and 
panting with excitement into Dover Harbour. 

I found myself in a strange land, not to be confused 
with the England that I had left in 1 9 1 3 . It had grappled 
blindly in the horror of an immense nightmare, and 
now it had awaked in the clear splendid dawn. I was 
a stranger, a sort of Rip Van Winkle. I knew nothing 
of the stress and strain. I did not know the names 
of the great battles in France, nor the catchwords of 
the troops. I had never heard of the V.A.D., nor of 
the Land Girl. I belonged to another age. I found 



62 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


England hard and primitive, full of great enthusiasm, 
of great passions, of great hatreds, and of great ideals. 
I raced to catch up. I devoured books of war photo- 
graphs and read the old newspapers. Only vaguely as 
a distant view I saw now and again the stark terror of 
the years that I had missed, and the tremendous blind 
forces that had been tearing at each other ; but I felt 
the great sob of relief of the millions who came back 
to light and life and the great fun that was to fill the 
world. 

In the middle of December I was employed in the 
War Office. This allowed me to extend my horizon 
from the view-point of personal experience, and with 
the eyes of a hundred observers to see the situation as 
a whole. I found that England had taken within her 
protecting arms vast tracts of new territory — Mesopo- 
tamia, Palestine, the Caucasus and parts of Turkey, and 
I found a belief that she could cleanse these countries 
and put them on the high road to salvation. There 
was a splendid hope in a new era that was dawning. 

The war machine was still running full, but hardly 
had I felt the thrill and the drive of the immense impulse 
than reaction came dragging back. The people of Eng- 
land clamoured to get back to their homes and their 
dancing and their money-making. With the war won, 
they naturally concluded that their task was finished. 
But it was as if a surgeon in a delicate major operation 
had suddenly gone off to his tea and allowed his patient 
to bleed to death. 

Great empires had been tom into glutinous strips, or 
smashed into* brittle or highly explosive pieces. The 



THE FIRST DAYS OF THE ARMISTICE 63 

world lay full of fragments waiting to be tied up by 
the Allies into neat little parcels and correctly labelled, 
but the people of England wanted peace and quiet, 
retrenchment and demobilization. It was the most out- 
standing feature of the moment, and it was the most 
important factor in the history of the years of the Armis- 
tice. Diplomacy and foreign policy needed a great army. 
The settlement of the world required a strong police. 
The people of England were not prepared for this 
further sacrifice. America frankly withdrew her diplo- 
mats with her armies. We withdrew our armies, but 
we sent our diplomats to do great things, and they failed 
and were shamed. 

The War Office was weighed down with masses of 
new problems. The ordinary officials there, conscien- 
tious but far from brilliant, were called upon to gather 
correct material and advise and decide on problems of 
vast importance, and at the same time to assist in 
administering half a world in turmoil. They were 
surrounded by experts and interested persons full of 
novel facts. They were supplied with maps that were 
rank with errors. A new propaganda grew up with 
maps as the posters and advertisements. These were 
neatly printed. They looked as authentic as a Bart- 
holomew road map. They were often a deliberate per- 
version of facts to assist a poor argument. Every move 
was hampered by numbers of treaties made under the. 
stress of war. These were often contradictory and 
now regretted. 

In Paris the Conference had started, with no one quite 
knowing what it meant, and all the people of the world 



64 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

were talking at once. As time passed, in every direc- 
tion and in unexpected places, vast blind forces released 
by the war became apparent and menacing. To meet 
them there was little to offer. The armies were con- 
tracting with demobilization. The energy and idealism 
was dying away and left only a tired people. 

Nowhere had the victory been so crushing as in 
Turkey. She lay battered down, ruined and broken. 
Any terms of peace could have been imposed without 
resistance. Far away in Anatolia the ninth Caucasus 
army alone remained undefeated, but it was submissive 
and overawed. There were Allied garrisons all across 
Turkey. She lay inert, patiently waiting her fate. I 
found the English people against the Turks. Here and 
there a few experts and a few cranlcs spoke on their 
behalf, but the mass of the people was hostile. The 
churches remembered the massacres of Christians. The 
Free Churches were clamouring for the return of Con- 
stantinople and St. Sophia and the ejection of the Turk 
from Europe. The war hatred was strong in those 
untouched by religion. It was agreed that an end was 
to be made of Turkey, and Mr. Lloyd George was the 
spokesman of that idea.) 

But in all matters the decision rested with the Con- 
ference in Paris, and there so vast and complex and 
innumerable were the problems to be settled that Turkey 
was neglected for the time being. It was felt that she 
was but the rubbish and bits of the Ottoman Empire 
that had finally collapsed, and that a sweeping up of 
those could wait until more urgent problems nearer 
home were settled. In that delay lay danger, and 



THE FIRST DAYS OF THE ARMISTICE 65 

one by one many of the troubles settled themselves. 

The first blow came when the Italians on the zgtix 
of March 1919 landed in south-eastern Anatolia, and, 
despite the protests of the other Allies, began rapidly 
to take over the country. They had a definite clear- 
cut policy. They intended to replace Austria in the 
Near East. They took over the Austrian banks and 
the Austrian ships. They had been promised the port 
of Smyrna at the Conference of St, Jean de Maurienne 
in 1915 and they set out to get it. They were for 
annexation. Each year, some hundreds of thousands of 
emigrants leave Italy for other countries. The soil and 
climate of Anatolia are excellent, and the Italian Govern- 
ment hoped to raise there a stout peasant population and 
make Italy a world power and an empire. 

Already there was friction between France and England, 
for the former thought that she was being kept out of 
Cilicia, despite all promises and the terms of the Sykes- 
Picot agreement, and that steps were being taken to oust 
her from Constantinople. 

It was still possible by immediate action to settle the 
Near East, but the situation, if delayed, was potentially 
dangerous. 



CHAPTER IX 


Central Europe, Italy, Athens, and 
Salonika in 1919 

I SET out once more for Constantinople in the first 
days of April, 1919. Slowly and only with much 
labour I travelled aaoss Central Europe. I left 
an England still wild with excitement and dancing and 
the pleasures of life. The men had come home from 
the army with their pockets full of money and no cares 
for the future. But in Europe all system and organiza- 
tion had broken down. Everywhere there was confu- 
sion and with it famine and despair. Starvation and 
Bolshevism were twin brothers and together they raced 
a neck-and-neck race with the harvest that was just 
coming green in the fields. In Switzerland the valleys 
were full of the sound of the newly released streams 
that sang of spring and of food to come. 

As we came out of the Alps on to the plains beyond 
we met the spring as she came singing and dancing 
out of the dusty East. But it was only the promise of 
plenty, and, if civilization was to be saved, there was 
need at once of food and comfort. In Italy itself, one 
of the victors, there were profound political upheavals 
and strikes and discord. 


66 



CENTRAL EUROPE IN 1919 67 

We ran through vineyards and cornfields and red- 
roofed villages and then dovm the coast of the Adriatic 
with its rocks, and figs and ancient twisted olive trees 
and white square flat-roofed Oriental villages set in the 
background of the blue sea. Here and there I saw a 
red flag, and in many railway-stations pictures of Lenin. 
Revolution stood ready at the gate, prepared to burst 
in and sweep the plains and the hills bare and leave 
the villages desolate. Civilization, weak and pallid, 
faced red Anarchy. 

We came to Taranto and from there took ship, rounded 
the heel of Italy, crossed the Adriatic, ran in behind 
the long island of Corfu, and, as the dawn showed grey 
over the mainland, we anchored below the two grey 
forts that watch over the town of Corfu. 

We threaded our way out and down into the Ionian 
Islands, through the narrow strait that divides Ithaca 
from Cephalonia, and, leaving Messolonghi and its 
marshes away on our left, swung eastwards into the 
gulf of Corinth and stayed a while in Patras. 

Then we sailed dovm the gulf with the towering 
barren mountains of Old Greece on our left and the 
rich green garden-covered shore of the Morea on our 
right. 

In these seas each hour of the day and night is full 
of wonder. I watched the splendour of the dawn from 
Corfu, as the town turned from silver to gold under 
the fingers of the newly risen sun. I lazed through 
the sunny days, while from the south blew up a soft 
vnnd from Africa that carried with it forgetfulness of 
care. We passed places renowned for great poets or 



68 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


for great deeds done there, and my lazy brain caught 
once more the half-forgotten thrill and inspiration of 
the ancient classics. 

I watched the sun set In a clear sky, a blaze of fierce 
colours quenched suddenly to soft tints, and then the 
purple night sweep up moonless and profound set deep 
with a myriad stars ; while the islands became dim 
shapes veiled behind darkness. 

Sea and sky and land were rich with colours and 
beauties so exquisite that even the honeyed full-mouthed 
phrases of Homer seemed inadequate. They left the 
aching indefinable sadness that is an integral part of all 
great beauty. 

The ship passed the narrow Canal of Corinth, skirted 
the barren coast of Attica, rounded the island of Salamis, 
and so came into the hot bleak port of Piraeus. From 
there I took a car and set out for Athens. 

For so great a setting modem Athens is a little mean 
town. Above it, almost, as it were, isolated, stood the 
Acropolis in its unrivalled beauty. At that moment 
the town was alive and throbbing with vitality, energy 
and the enthusiasm of the victory. Greece was strain- 
ing upwards to become great. But the more I saw, the 
less I believed in her greatness. She was living on 
the froth, of excitement that is all bubbles that burst 
easily. The ability to organize and the instinct to rule 
were not there. Words were more plentiful than effi- 
ciency. I saw that despite the show of vitality the 
Greeks were little better than the Turks. I had visited 
the Greek prisons and found them as foul as those of 
Stambul. That at Patras was full of political prisoners 



CENTRAL EUROPE IN 1919 69 

who lived in stone vaults underground crowded together 
in foulness and indecency. The prisoners never saw 
the sun. Their food was handed through the bars of 
a grating up to which they had to climb from the dark 
vaults underground. 

I came to Salonika by ship and waited for transport, 
for all the railways in the Balkans were impassable. 
The town was full of troops, and in the Turkish quarter 
the Greek cavalry were stabled in the mosques. Round 
the town were many concentration camps of wretched 
depressed Bulgarian prisoners. The once flourishing 
port was ruined. The Turks who had stayed were as 
cowed and terrified as the Armenians that I had seen 
in Anatolia imder the Turkish rule. These peoples, 
whether they be Turk or Christian, appear to have no 
instinct for ruling. 

Above the town on the hill was the massive old stone 
fort of Yedi-Kule, now turned into a prison. Inside 
it, in the court-yard, were broken shanties oLwood and 
round them narrow pens with mud floors. They were 
crowded with prisoners. I was up on the battlements 
with the sentries in the warm sunlight. Below the fort 
lay red-roofed villas set in gardens and trees from whence 
came up the scent of flowers and the sound of the sea 
breeze playing in the tree tops. Beyond, placid and 
blue, lay the harbour and a lazy steamer drawing out 
to the open sea. Away in the distance great mountains 
towered into light shifting clouds that broke now and 
again and showed the snow glittering on their peaks. 

I looked down into the fort. It was dark and cold. 
I could feel the dreary monotony and the barrenness. 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


70 

There were six hundred men crowded together and shut 
into slavery for political reasons. Some wandered up 
and down the few paces of the pens. I heard a sentry 
hit one dully because he came too close to the barrier. 
Some lay within the huts. Many were catching lice. 
The stench of uncleanness, as of the dead, came up to 
me in a heavy sickening vapour. A great bird sailed 
lazily across the sky. I was back in Afion-Kara-Hissar 
and in revolt — revolt against the folly of war and the 
stupidity of politics and the shutting up of men like 
savage beasts of prey. With an elfort I realized that 
the sky was wide and open, and that I was free and no 
prisoner. 

I was glad to leave Salonika. It had become a back- 
water. The armies were gone to Constantinople and 
those who were left were cleaning up to move. I went 
aboard with no regret, but there remained with me a 
fetid remembrance of the prisoners on the hill, and the 
ill-kept Bulgars in the camps. 



CHAPTER X 


In Constantinople as one of the Victors 

T he steward called me late and tihie dawn was 
already coming up grey before I was on deck 
to watch the ship plough her way up the 
Dardanelles. The rocky shores stood out ragged and 
raw, uninviting, quite unfriendly and menacing. The 
last day’s heat lay heavy in the stony valleys, and there 
came down the stale smell that spoke of dust and flies. 
A hawk wheeled out as he hunted early. A wedge of 
duck fleeted past. Here and there were tired villages, 
just waking to the day. 

We swung into the Sea of Marmora as the sun rose 
on our right. Before us in the spring morning the sea 
lay still in exquisite blue. As the dawn broke it left the 
Islands of the Princes pearl-grey in the shadow of night 
and tipped their peaks with gold. Behind us in great 
patches of sun and deep shadow, their feet draped in a 
gentle mist, the Anatolian hills climbed steep up into the 
mountains of Asia till they reached the everlastmg snows 
of Olympus, towering sheer into the sky. Before us, 
glittering in the dawn, lay Constantinople, and Stambul 
the Turkish city, called in Arabic “ The Gate of De- 
light.” It was a mass of minarets and mosques, red- 

71 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


72 

roofed houses set in trees, reaching down to the point 
where the old Seraglio and the Imperial Harems frown 
over the sea. Away beyond, divided by the Golden 
Horn and spanned by the Bosphorus, stood Pera, once 
the old ghetto, where now gaunt brick houses crowded 
on the sides of many hills, full of Europeans and rich 
people. 

We anchored off Leander’s tower where the Bosphorus 
runs into the sea, and its fierce current twists and swirls, 
mouths at the ships and snarls as it dives down a hundred 
feet below sea surface. The waterways were crowded 
with shipping and with myriads of small craft that kept 
no rules of the road. While we waited I remembered 
my last visit here in the hour of defeat, with my police- 
man and in my ragged old uniform. Now I came back 
on the tide of a stupendous victory and full of hope 
of the great future. The Allied passport officers came 
aboard. The Frenchman was fussy and a nuisance, be- 
cause he could not help it. The Italian nosed round 
on the chance of seeing a good-looking woman, because 
he could not help it. The Englishman was frankly 
bored. Outside England I have often wondered as to 
the value of the Passport System. The efficient criminal 
and the dangerous politician can easily circumvent it, 
I suppose it holds up the feeble-minded and the silly 
ass, and that is a blessing. 

We landed at the Bridge and plunged into Galata 
and into the rattle and roar that is the sound of Con- 
stantinople. Instinctively I held my breath, waiting 
for the crash. Trams banged and squealed, as they 
passed over worn-out points. Motor-cars of aU makes 



IN CONSTANTINOPLE 


73 


dashed about taking risks. Horse-carts without springs 
or tyres rattled over the cobbled streets. Oxen swayed 
along to the shouts and prods of their drivers. The 
pavements and the road were thronged with people 
who respected no rule of the road. There were ranges 
of flabby white faces without distinction or character. 
Here and there I saw a pretty girl, a woman over-painted, 
or a man gesticulating over-violently. They were all 
over-smoked, slept-in-stale-air, weak, sickly faces. The 
people were of every type and gabbled in every tongue. 
There were long-bearded Armenian priests with rusty 
gowns and chimney-pot hats, and Greek priests in top- 
hats with the brims knocked off and dirty shabby boots 
sticking out from under dingy gowns. There were 
hodjas in turbans, Turks and French colonial troops in 
fezes. There were slit-eyed Kalmucks, great gaunt 
eunuchs, Turkish bloods of the Effendi and Pasha class, 
men with hats on, as in London, men with black astrakan 
brimless caps on, just as in Teheran or Tiflis. There 
were women in veils and women in hats, and street 
vendors and beggars with horrors of open sores and 
mutilated limbs asking for alms. Some loitered talking 
and sucking cigarettes. The rest elbowed and rushed, 
twisted, turned and butted me off the narrow pave- 
ments into the complicated medley of vehicles in the 
road. Ever3rwhere there was confusion, noise and 
bustle, but all this effort appeared to have no object. 
It had nothing in common with that great purposeful 
hum of traffic that is the voice of London. 

I regretted having decided to walk up to Pera, for the 
hills were as steep as cliffs and the pavements were 



IN CONSTANTINOPLE 


73 


dashed about taking risks. Horse^carts without springs 
or tyres rattled over the cobbled streets. Oxen swayed 
along to the shouts and prods of their drivers. The 
pavements and the road were thronged with people 
who respected no rule of the road. There were ranges 
of flabby white faces without distinction or character. 
Here and there I saw a pretty girl, a woman over-painted, 
or a man gesticulating over-violently. They were all 
over-smoked, slept-in-stale-air, weak, sickly faces. The 
people were of every type and gabbled in every tongue. 
There were long-bearded Armenian priests with rusty 
gowns and chimney-pot hats, and Greek priests in top- 
hats with the brims knocked off and dirty shabby boots 
sticking out from under dingy gowns. There were 
hodjas in turbans, Turks and French colonial troops in 
fezes. There were slit-eyed Kalmucks, great gaunt 
eunuchs, Turkish bloods of the Effendi and Pasha class, 
men with hats on, as in London, men with black astrakan 
brimless caps on, just as in Teheran or Tiflis. There 
were women in veils and women in hats, and street 
vendors and beggars with horrors of open sores and 
mutilated limbs asking for alms. Some loitered talking 
and sucking cigarettes. The rest elbowed and rushed, 
twisted, turned and butted me off the narrow pave- 
ments into the complicated medley of vehicles in the 
road. Everywhere there was confusion, noise and 
bustle, but all this effort appeared to have no object. 
It had nothing in common with that great purposeful 
hum of traffic that is the voice of London. 

I regretted having decided to walk up to Pera, for the 
hills were as steep as cliffs and the pavements were 



74 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


made of awkward cobbles. I was bumped by hurryir 
men going nowhere, and poked by the elbows ar 
amazingly sharp bones of women who, I feel sure, we: 
otherwise quite charming. But at last I came to whe 
I should lodge in a street that is known as the Ri 
Glavanni. 

In moments of depression my first night in th 
street comes back to me. The everlasting sun h; 
banked the heat down in it, as sullenly as in an ove 
It was full of the smell of open drains and garbaj 
refuse thrown from the windows or tipped out of ti 
by scavenger dogs. It was full of men arguing and t 
howls of itinerant sellers of fruit and trifles. Oppos 
unreceivable ladies played on a tin piano and call 
to sailor-men to come and drink. The creeping nig 
was full of tickling, crawling things which, unless ow 
gorged at their supper, showed phenomenal speed 
hiding under the pillow before the match struck. Tl 
were my old prison companions and great brown brut 
but soft London life had made me less friendly towai 
them. 

Being unable to sleep, at dawn I crept out to 
Petits Champs des Morts, which is a deserted gravey 
that runs steep down to the Golden Horn and is cove: 
with litter and full of tired cypresses. Above it 1 
been built a cabaret, and there the night before I 1 
spent an hour or two, smoking innumerable cigaret 
drinking bad champagne at fabulous prices, sipp 
black coffee and watching over-painted middle-a 
women skip lightly about a crazy stage. This is 
night life of Constantinople. Now at dawn the > 



IN CONSTANTINOPLE 


75 


and the Golden Horn lay covered deep in fog. As I 
looked the morning breeze sprang up out of the Black 
Sea and swept away the surface of the fog, and one by 
one the minarets and tops of innumerable mosques 
came up into the sun, glittering like silver islands in the 
sea of mist. 

I began work, without delay, at the Embassy as 
Assistant Military Attach^, and my life became full of 
! politics. I found the Ottoman Empire utterly smashed, 
i her vast territories stripped into pieces, and her con- 
quered populations blinded and bewildered by their 
sudden release. The Turks were worn out, dead-tired, 
and without bitterness awaited their fate. Any terms 
of peace could have been imposed without resistance. 
Throughout the Near and Middle East there was stability 
and peace, for the British had stretched out their hands 
and there were garrisons holding all the vast territories 
that lie between Batum and Trans-Caucasia, North 
Persia, Basra and Jerusalem. Only in the East of 
Anatolia there were rumblings of revolt where the 
ninth and unbeaten Turkish Caucasian Army was 
reluctant to disarm, and where there was the menace 
of Russian interference. For a minute the British 
tasted the immense prestige of force and world power. 
The Allied prestige was enormous. It overshadowed 
the East. The eclipse of Russia and the destruction 
of the Ottoman Empire had cleared the ground, but left 
vast problems for decision. Countries had been tom 
from their old allegiances and ripped into pieces. The 
debris of the old order waited to be constmcted into a 
new system. 



76 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


As in the War Office so in the Embassy, I found the 
corridors crowded with experts and persons with interests. 
They came from Georgia and Azerbaijan, from Smyrna 
and the Pontus, from Armenia and Palestine. They 
brought with them their maps full of lies and they 
expected the almighty Allies with a few chosen words 
and a wave of the hand to decide their futures. As yet 
the chill of the reaction that I had seen coming in London 
had not reached Turkey. All waited on the Confer- 
ence, and in Paris they were too busy with other problems 
nearer home and as yet had no time. 

The chance of sound reconstruction slid away on 
the wings of time. Gradually the power of the Allies 
weakened, as the armies contracted to the centre with 
demobilization. One by one the garrisons were with- 
drawn, and the new countries still half-fledged were 
left to fend for themselves. Among themselves the 
Allies quarrelled. Each fought on the terms of its 
own national interests. For a minute they had thought 
in terms of the World. The Conference at Paris be- 
came heated with discord, and each decision made was 
but a compromise between rival claims. The reaction 
put out its cold hand, and the great dream of a new 
world dissolved and the nations came back to the cold 
light of facts. 

But the problems of the Near East still remained 
undecided, and one by one under the pressure of cir- 
cumstance each new country in pain and grief worked 
out its own salvation. 

In Constantinople the Allied administration had 
been formed on the supposition that it was an expedient 



IN CONSTANTINOPLE 


77 


for a few weeks. It had no order of efficiency. The 
High Cominissioner was the Admiral Commanding 
the Mediterranean, and he had under him a mixed 
staff. The French General, Franchet d’Esperey, who 
had commanded in Macedonia, was left as Commander- 
in-Chief ashore. His British subordinate, General Sir 
George Milne, was in the quaint position of being 
an independent commander of a force called the Army 
of the Black Sea ; but practically the whole of this 
force was also commanded, under the French General 
Officer Commanding-in- Chief, by the Allied Commander 
of the Constantinople area, and he was a British 
General, Lieut.-General Sir Henry Wilson. The rela- 
tionship between the French and British commanders 
was unsympathetic, and the above description should 
be sufficiently complex to show the impracticable system 
that was in existence. There was no common policy 
nor even common sentiment among the Allies, and 
there was no co-ordination of men or force. 

As to the British, there was no settled policy and 
for the first twelve months no general line of policy was 
laid down, except that the High Commissioner should 
avoid all complications that might affect future decisions. 
The results were pathetic, for the High Commissioners 
did little but watch each other jealously and ensure that 
none of their colleagues obtained any special advantages. 
The Near East waited for reconstruction, but the Allies 
did nothing that was constructive. Their decisions 
were all negative. Minor difficulties as they arose 
were referred to the home Governments, and decisions 
on these appeared to have no part in a general policy. 



78 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

The main work at the Embassy was to avoid being 
definitely involved with any of the innumerable suitors 
who sought our help. 

Thus in inaction time passed, while the problems at 
hand remained unsolved, while new complications 
appeared and definite dangers began to raise their heads. 
The golden opportunity to make a sound adjustment 
had passed. 

I found the city of Constantinople little changed since 
1916, except that the Allies had replaced the Germans 
and that the population had without effort transferred 
its allegiance from the one to the other. I looked in 
at the old prison. Jemal Bey was gone, but the officials 
and sentries were as courteous as before. Mazlum Bey 
was shut away somewhere, but I dared not see him, for 
I must have struck him. Even here in the centre, there 
was decay. The War Office door hung on a broken 
hinge, and the great courtyard was rank with weeds, 
as if no troops had ever drilled on it. 

As I wandered about the city I searched for the stout 
old Turk I had learned to know in Anatolia. He was 
not there. Gradually I realized that in Constantinople 
there were no Turks, for they were all Levantines, and 
that herein lay the basic and fundamental problem of 
Turkey. Away in Anatolia were 7,000,000 ignorant 
Turkish peasants. They were hardy, honest and steady, 
but should anyone of them be taken and educated, he 
instinctively absorbed that which was superficial and he 
became a Levantine, 

Though of stout material, the Turkish peasant cannot 
be built on, and thus his ruling class is always Levantine. 



IN CONSTANTINOPLE 


79 


The one hope of the Turk lies in developing his own 
type of civilization, of educating his people on those lines, 
and ruling his people in this manner, and not by copying 
or mimicking the civilization of Europe as he has done 
hitherto. The Turks are Eastern. Anatolia and Con- 
stantinople are Eastern, and there is a great danger of 
treating them as if they were Western, because their 
people have white skins and some are Christians. The 
gulf between us and the Chinese and the Brahmin is 
no greater than that between us and the populations of 
Turkey. 

Constantinople is the capital of Levantinia^ and its 
citizens the Levantines are the evil results of the mating 
of the East and the West. East and West mate badly. 
They do not absorb each other satisfactorily. The West 
has superimposed itself on the East, and there remain 
but two roads to be taken. Either the East must accept 
the civilization of the West and the whole East become 
Levantine, or it must refuse it absolutely and revolt 
against it. But the moment the East refuses the guidance 
of the West, I found that the East respected not the 
spirit but the material results of Western civilization — 
its motor-cars, its luxuries, and, above all, the power and 
comfort that it gives. 

The great city of Constantinople is itself a festering 
sore. There are in it no great ideals, no inspiration. 
It is a city of mean men living in mean streets. It 
is a city of intrigue, of backbiting, of scandal, of cun- 
ning, cowardly, treacherous men and dishonest women 
living in squalid houses. There is vast intrigue in little 
matters. There is no big idea, no character, no drive, no 



8o 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


continuous effort, no virtue. Spread over all is the 
fatalism that destroys effective action, and the mentality 
of Constantinople is complete. It is a city that has 
ruined the souls of all who come to it. It is the jumble 
of pieces of an ugly jig-saw puzzle that no one has yet 
made into a picture. 

Yet it is set in an exquisite frame. Around it are the 
rolling uplands of Mashlah, the deep shady valleys of 
the Belgrade forest, the Bosphorus with its swift green 
rushing current, the fathomless blue of the Marmora 
and the hills of Anatolia rising peak on peak to the 
sunrise. Set in this girdle of wonderful seas, of won- 
derful hills and lit with gorgeous sunsets, it lies a festering 
pool of iniquity of all that is foul in human nature, and 
of all the squalor of deformed city life. Everywhere 
there are the same great contrasts of great beauty, exalted 
imagery, great possibilities and twisted ugliness, squalor, 
and futile mean effort, and foulness. Looked at from 
afar, it excites romance. It is exquisite with its mosques 
and minarets and baths and picturesque houses that 
are a joy to the artist but the despair of the tenant. As 
a wit once said, “ Looked at as a whole it is beautiful, 
but looked at in bits it is a hole.” To Constantinople 
have come many people and it has wound itself round 
their hearts, and when they have gone away they have 
been “ home-sick ” for it aU their days. 



CHAPTER XI 


The Greek Crusade into Anatolia and the 
Awakening of the Turks 

I FOUND that the Ottoman Empire was gone. In 
some grotesque Arabian-Nights-like manner it 
had been held together from the centre. The 
Allies had destroyed it. Its centre lay defeated and 
ruined. In its place there was nothing to offer but 
the still-born folly of “ Self-Determination.” For the 
time being the Allied garrisons were spread over all 
like the fine cords of a net that held the rough broken 
pieces together. But the cords began to slacken and 
break, as the garrisons came in, and the new nations so 
left found themselves surrounded by enemies and their 
frontiers but raw wounds. 

f All that remained to the Turks of the Ottoman Empire 
' appeared pathetically inanimate, but by one ill-conceived 
action the Conference in Paris stung it into new life. 
On the 15th of May 1919, under the orders of the 
Supreme Council, the Greeks landed troops at Smyrna 
and took over that area. 

The preliminaries to thk order showed clearly the 
trend of events. They showed too the atmosphere 
and conditions under which ihe Paris Conference worked. 

81 


G 



82 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


In the hard years of the war secret treaties had been 
made to win allies. Italy had been promised great 
sections of Anatolia. Greece had been promised Western 
Thrace. Russia had been promised Constantinople. 
Much of the Middle East had been portioned out be- 
tween England and France by the Sykes-Picot agree- 
ment. Promises had been made to the Arabs and 
the Christian minorities. By the time that peace arrived 
the objects of the war had changed. America, the new 
ally, had no part or lot in all these secret agreements 
that held her allies. But they were always in the back- 
ground. They were confused by local and national 
hatreds and ambitions. They were complicated by 
the fact that many of them were contradictory, and by 
the declaration that ‘‘ self-determination was to 
decide the future. 

The Italians had failed to get any support for their 
policy of annexation of South-Western Anatolia. The 
French and British would not stand by the promises 
they had made to the Italians at St. Jean de Maurienne 
in 1917, but they could not deny that they had made 
them. Feeling that facts were better than arguments, 
the Italians landed and set to work. Very rapidly, 
with troops and schools and traders, they had established 
themselves in the south of Anatolia and were rapidly 
nearing Smyrna. The Greek delegation in Paris strove 
for its claims in Anatolia, and especially for Smyrna. 
The French and British heard them with considerable 
sympathy. The American advisers refused to agree. 
They saw that Anatolia as a whole needed Smyrna as 
its window and door on to the world. Special com- 



GREEK CRUSADE INTO ANATOLIA 83 

mittees could come to no agreement, and the Italians 
and the Greeks were at every point at variance. 

Suddenly events took a dramatic turn. Signor 
Orlando and President Wilson quarrelled in Paris over 
Fiume. The former, with all the Italians, left the 
Conference. There -was always in Paris a strong pro- 
Hellenic party, which now played its cards skilfully. 
M. Venizelos presented a sheaf of telegrams to show 
that the Turks were massacring in the Smyrna area, 
which was untrue. His subordinates produced excel- 
lent, but incorrect, maps to show the preponderance 
of the Greek population in and round Smyrna. The 
Great Three did not wish to see the Italians in pos- 
session, and they thought it an excellent method of 
calling Signor Orlando back to heel. He came, but too 
late, for already the order had been deliberately given 
by Mr. Wilson without reference to his advisers, and 
by Mr. Lloyd George and M. Clemenceau ; and the 
Greeks were sent to Smyrna, not as a punishment to 
the Turks, but as a counterpoise to the Italians. 

From this small spark arose a fierce conflagration. 
The Greeks came under the escort of Allied ships, 
and their occupation was annoimced to the Governor of 
Smyrna as that of the Allies. They began to massacre 
as soon as they landed. The ofiicers and men of the 
British battleship moored close to the quay were ordered 
to remain inactive, while, within a few yards of their 
stem, Greek troops committed murder and foul bmtalities. 
It is said that so difficult was it to prevent the British 
sailors from interfering that they were all ordered below 
decks. 



84 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

From Smyrna the Greeks pushed out, massacriag, 
burning, pillaging and raping as they went, in the ordinary 
manner of the Balkan peoples at war. Before them 
the Turks fled, till the country-side was full of refugees. 
Having extended beyond the line allowed to them, but 
having given themselves sufficient room to protect 
Smyrna, the Greeks sat down to consolidate. 

Throughout Turkey awoke a new spirit, the spirit of a 
Turkish Nation. Once before the Turks had tried to 
turn their vast heterogeneous empire into a nation. 
In 1908 the Young Turks had overthrown the tyranny 
of Abdul Hamid and proclaimed a constitution with 
equal rights for all. They had set to work to turkijy 
the Empire. The result had been misfortune. The 
Great Powers had at once reached out greedy hands for 
spoils. Austria had seized Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
Aided by Russia, Bulgaria had declared itself indepen- 
dent. The Italians had seized Tripoli and Bengazi. 
England and France had riveted tighter their economic 
chains. 

The Ottoman Christians refused to become Turks, 
and in a fury at their disloyalty the Young Turks re- 
sorted to the policy of their predecessor, and by fierce 
massacre endeavoured to cut out of their body politic 
the cancer that ate their flesh. Their enemies saw their 
weakness, and then came the Balkan wars, and then 
finally the Great World War that had brought destruction 
and ruin. But the idea of a Nation had remained with 
them, of one loyalty, of one religion, of one blood, and of 
one tongue. They had been stripped of the vast territories 
that they held by force alone. They had ceased to be 



GREEK CRUSADE INTO ANATOLIA 85 

ambitious to become a power in Europe, and their hopes 
were centred in Asia. Pared and pruned till little super- 
fluous growth remained, the trunk of the Ottoman Empire 
appeared dead. The sap moved but little. 

. Now at the threat of final destruction the Turks woke 
from the dull apathy of defeat. They were to be wiped 
out. It was proposed to make a great Armenia behind 
them and perhaps a Greek Pontus State on one flank. 
There was the red danger of Smyrna in front of them, 
and the Great Powers were planning to control what was 
left. As had happened before in their history, in the 
hour of real disaster, the call went out and slowly the 
Turks roused themselves. A fierce vitality returned 
and they set about to save themselves from complete 
annihilation. 

There were dull muttered threats at first. The 9th 
Caucasian Army stopped disarming. At Erzerum, at 
Konia and before Smyrna organized bodies came into 
existence. The refugees were armed. The hills became 
full of irregular bands that attacked the Greek troops. 
The peasants were enrolled. The Christians had 
already surrendered their arms at the orders of the Allies, 
but the Turks found arms in quantities and at once. 
The disarmament of the Turkish forces had been 
neglected by the Allied commanders. The ideas on the 
subject were grotesque. One staff officer of high rank 
was heard to say that it was unfair to disarm the Turks 
without disarming the Greeks as well, and one officer 
who commanded a detachment, when ordered to retire 
from Anatolia, brought with him a receipt signed 
by a Turkish general for the stores and ammunition 



86 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

that he had handed over in considerable quantities. 
5 In Constantinople the renowned sailor, Raouf Bey, both 
officially and unofficially organized protest and resistance. 
Meetings were addressed by priests and fanatics ; and 
that at the Municipal buildings in Stambul on the 
20th of May was opened by a fierce appeal from a Turkish 
woman, one Halide Edeb Hanum, and was concluded 
with a few words of encouragement from French officers 
who were on the platform. 

Far away in the wilds of Anatolia some form of organi- 
zation began to show itself almost at once, and one 
man, Mustapha Kemal, stood out and dominated the 
situation. He was a capable staff officer of great energy, 
and a hard, calculating man. He had shown his capacity 
on many fronts. He had organized the guerrilla warfare 
against the Italians in Tripoli. He had commanded 
the gendarmery divisions in Gallipoli and held up the 
Australian advance and had saved the Turks from 
defeat. In Syria he had been given a poor handful 
of men, and with these he had gamely tried to withstand 
Allenby and to organize a new front at Aleppo. After 
Enver and his colleagues had fled, Mustapha Kemal 
had remained, and his influence among the troops and 
the people was great.; He had been appointed as In- 
spector-General of the northern section of Anatolia, and 
there he went in March 1919. He left Constantinople 
determined to organize some show of resistance. He 
found little response among the tired people, who prayed 
only for peace and for time to plough their fields. But 
the landing of the Greeks, the threat of final destruction, 
and the wave of hatred that ran through the country 



GREEK CRUSADE INTO ANATOLIA 87 

gave him his chance. He seized it. Help and encourage- 
ment came from Constantinople and from every side. 
On the old framework of the Ottoman army he grafted 
the hastily raised irregulars, and as it grew the force 
was directed towards the Greeks. 

As yet the Turks had worked with caution. They 
showed their defiance in sullen disobedience to the 
Allied Control officers. The efforts at resistance were 
local and scattered and mainly effective in the danger 
zones close to the Greeks, where the refugees organized 
gladly. The leaders of the disaffection had crept away 
back into the eastern and inaccessible parts of Anatolia, 
to organize at Siwas and Erzerum. They expected that 
at any minute the Allies would send troops and crush 
them down. 

If the movement was to be dealt with some immediate 
action was needed. The British High Commissioner 
wired repeatedly for permission to act. The Grand Vizier, 
who believed that the strict carrying out of the Armistice 
was the one hope of Turkey, became apprehensive and 
asked leave to deal with the danger. But the Allied 
Governments were feeling the anti-war reaction. They 
were being bombarded with demands for demobilization 
and retrenchment. They dared not involve themselves 
in further commitments. They gave orders that no 
steps were to be taken in the matter, which to them 
appeared to be one between the Sultan and his subjects. 
They refused to allow the Sultan enough troops or a 
free hand to deal with the position. They made light 
of the danger of the situation, and then turned to other 
problems. 



88 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


Very soon the Turks began to realize that the Allies 
would not, or could not, take steps against them, and 
at the end of June they came out more boldly into the 
open. Irregular troops with a backing of regulars con- 
tinually harried the Greeks, and sometimes there were 
fierce engagements. By July a clear-cut organization, 
grouped round Mustapha Kemal at Erzerum, had come 
into existence and the hitherto scattered and separate 
centres of revolt were co-ordinated within it. It was 
directed by capable brains. It was assisted by great 
enthusiasm and great hatred. The army grew, and it 
met with no opposition. The organization and the 
military forces now began to move westwards, leaving 
only sufficient troops to guard against aggression from 
Armenia. They came to the railway at Angora in 
December 1919, and, making the new head-quarters there, 
they moved down the railway and took over the junction 
of Eski-Shehir and the line to Konia. The British 
had orders to avoid any complications and they retired 
as the Turks advanced, so that by April 1920 the whole 
of Anatolia, except the area round Smyrna held by the 
Greeks, was in the hands of the “ Nationalists,” as the 
Turks under Mustapha Kemal were now called. Be- 
hind a screen of irregulars they organized, collected 
money and formed an administration, j 
As Mustapha Kemal became a power the government 
in Constantinople lost in importance. All Turks were 
united in protest at the landing of the Greeks. But 
whereas the Sultan and Damad Ferid, the Grand Vizier, 
believed that the salvation of Turkey lay in obedience 
to the terms of the Armistice and so winning the con- 



GREEK CRUSADE INTO ANATOLIA 89 

fidence and good-will of the Allies, Mustapha Kemal 
believed not at all in the Allies. He saw that they had 
decided to destroy Turkey. He believed that the 
Turks could only save themselves by their own strong 
right arms. He had already succeeded beyond his 
wildest dreams. The Allies had done nothing against 
him. The Greeks were tied to their area. Their 
atrocities had filled him and his supporters with wild 
rage, for they despised these Greeks as their late sub- 
jects. They hated the Allies but little less for sending 
them. When ordered to return to Constantinople 
Mustapha Kemal had refused. Damad Ferid was a 
fierce old man and he dismissed Mustapha Kemal from 
the army. Personal hatred and pique became an element 
in the quarrel. A breach opened between the govern- 
ment in Constantinople and the administration in 
Angora. Then Damad Ferid fell from power and the 
Nationalists gained control of the Constantinople cabinet. 
In turn they were ejected, and the Sultan and Damad 
Ferid Pasha and their supporters, appealing in vain to 
the Allies for help, set out to crush the “ rebels ” in 
Anatolia. They employed Circassians to fight them, 
under a certain Ahmed Anzavour. The breach was 
complete, and henceforth Angora went its own way 
from step to step until it proclaimed itself an independent 
government, while the Constantinople government, 
tied hand and foot by the Allies, sank to the position 
of the borough council of Stambul, and the Allied 
cqntrol became valueless, y 
* Finally, feeling their strength and showing the fortitude 
and courage that more than once in their history saved 



90 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

them from destruction, the Turkish Nationalists had on 
the 28th of January 1920 published their National 
Pact. They proclaimed the objects for which they 
fought and swore that even to annihilation they would 
strive till they possessed Anatolia, Constantinople and 
Eastern Thrace, free of foreign interference. } It was 
the declaration of the death of the Ottoman Empire, 
and of the existence of the Turkish Nation. The birth 
and rapid growth of this had been ignored by the Allies. 
Now it stood out aggressively, asserting its claims and 
its power to enforce them. 

The success of the Turkish Nationalists, due as it 
was to the sudden and unexpected vitality that they 
had shown, was aided by a complicated mass of other 
circumstances. 

The Greeks had hardly landed before they encountered 
Italian opposition. As the Greeks pushed out, the 
Italians continued to advance, until they met as rivals. 
At one point, on the 2nd of June 1919, their troops 
opened fire on each other at the village of Cherkes Keuy, 
and only with great tact was an open breach between 
Rome and Athens avoided. The Italians, piqued and 
disappointed, encouraged the spirit of Turkish revolt. 
Too late they realized that they fanned a fire that would 
singe their own beards. Before the rising conflagration, 
which they had helped to light, they retired. There were 
serious domestic troubles in Italy. The people demanded 
demobilization and threatened revolution. Rather than 
be involved in fighting the Italian Government with- 
drew, and gave, up the territory on which they had set 
their hearts. But as they went they sold their arms 



GREEK CRUSADE INTO ANATOLIA 91 

and equipment to the Turk, and for many months they 
were- his main source of supply for war material. 

. Aided thus in the south, the Turks found other helpers 
in the north. As the Bolsheviks slowly advanced, 
steadily pushing the armies of counter-revolution under 
Denikin before them, the British troops retired out of 
the Caspian and across the Caucasus. Their retreat 
encouraged the Turks, who received from Moscow 
welcome messages and more welcome money. The 
Allies were their common enemies. | 

‘The Turkish Nationalists directed their energies 
primarily against the Greeks, but the Greeks were the 
agents of the Peace Conference, and rapidly the hostility 
of the Turks was directed against the Allies.- Until it 
had forced itself upon their attention, the Nationalist 
movement was viewed with little interest and no hostility 
by the Supreme Council, despite the constant telegrams 
of warning from the High Commissioner and the 
admonitions of the General Officer Commanding-in- 
Chief. 

When late in 1919 the position was recognized, the 
jealousies between the Allies prevented any effective 
action.' The Italians were already at loggerheads with 
the Greeks and helping the Turks. Compromise 
between the many conflicting ambitions was the only 
hope of common action. The British were often 
stubborn and their subordinates were sometimes unwise, 
but as a whole they were prepared to sacrifice much to 
maintain the Entente. From the first days of the 
Armistice, however, the French were suspicious. They 
believed that they were to be cheated of the good things 



92 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


of victory. There was no common enemy in the Near 
East, and there remained only the debris of dead systems, 
out of which much of value might be extracted. They 
found the British already in possession. They were 
determined not to be jockeyed out. For two centuries 
or more the British and the French had been rivals. In 
the face of a common foe, for a brief period, they had 
combined to crush the upstart Germany, and then in 
1918 they took up again their ancient quarrel where they 
had laid it down in 1913. In the Near East the Great 
War, which was to have been an ending, became no 
more than a brief interlude in the long struggle between 
the rivals for the hegemony of Turkey. 

Within a week of the signing of the Armistice the 
French were issuing nationalization papers to enemy 
subjects who possessed business or property interests 
in Turkey, and so endeavoured to annex the trade. 
Monsieur de France, the High Commissioner, and 
Franchet dTsperey, the Allied General Officer 
Commanding-in- Chief, were openly anti-British. They 
assisted the enemy. Thus the Allied High Com- 
missioners refused passports to the family of Enver 
Pasha. The French supplied them. The High Com- 
missioners ordered the arrest of Djavid the Salonika 
Jew, the Minister of Finance to the Committee of Union 
and Progress. The French smuggled him into France. 
In May 1919, French officers spoke at public meetings 
against the Greek landing in Smyrna and encouraged 
Turkish resistance. As early as June 1919, M. Pichon 
was in private correspondence with the Prince Heritier, 
and had promised him assistance to gain Turkish aspira- 



GREEK CRUSADE INTO ANATOLIA 93 

tions. The Moniteur, the Stambul and other papers 
were subsidized with French money to publish anti- 
British articles. Major Labonne, the French repre- 
sentative at Afion-Kara-Hissar, Colonel Mongin at 
Angora, and General Bath 616 my, the French Mili tary 
Attach^ in Constantinople, were openly with the 
Turks. 

For a short while the French used the Greeks. Even 
as late as June 1920 they advised them to advance, so 
as to get the Turks off the railway. Then they threw 
them over. As it became evident that the English had 
taken the Greeks under their protection, so, to neutralize 
this, the French became Turkophile, and in October 

1921 M. Franklin Bouillon on behalf of the French 
Government made a secret treaty at Angora. That 
treaty was dishonourable not so much in its terms as 
in the secrecy with which it was made. The French 
supplied the Turks with information as to the Greek 
forces and our own. The culmination was the great 
betrayal at Chanak, when on the 22nd of September 

1922 they withdrew and left the British alone to face 
the oncoming Turks. 

These are only a few of the countless similar incidents, 
but they showed the blind folly that made the Entente 
in the Near East a delusion. In France suspicion died 
slowly. England, despite the Entente, still appeared as 
the cunning monster which had stolen its colonial empire 
from the French. Sound public opinion throughout 
England was only too eager to forget the ancient rivalry 
and to allow France to attain her just aspirations. It 
realized that Allied solidarity was the one hope of sal- 



94 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


vation for ruined Europe, but it met with little response ; 
and from the end of 1919 onwards the Entente split until 
the French gradually whole-heartedly backed the Turks, 
and the British half-heartedly backed the Greeks. 

The Greeks were from the beginning in a bad position. 
They strained for greatness. Their resources were 
meagre and their ambitions great. They set out on a 
crusade backed by the Allies. But as soon as they left 
the seashore they found themselves in a barren wild 
country, and were deserted by the Allies and eventually 
warned that they must evacuate. They endeavoured to 
annex lands to which they had no rights except those 
of force, while on the other hand they were opposed 
by a people fighting desperately for their homes. 

They played, moreover, at being the champions of their 
oppressed fellow-countrymen in Anatolia, but this was 
but a fancied r61e. I remember well an incident that 
aptly illustrated this. One day, M. Canelopoulos came 
to the Embassy. 

“ I hope,” said the High Commissioner, that your 
Excellency’s troops will advance no further into Anatolia, 
for, if they do, I fear that all the Christians may be 
murdered.” 

“ I hope,” replied M. Canelopoulos, that the 
massacres begin soon, for we have need of a raison 
d^etre for advancing.” And I could only think of the 
incident a few weeks before when, in fear of the Turkish 
irregulars, the Greek population had flocked out of the 
village of Aidin behind Smyrna to follow the retreating 
Greek troops to safety, and how the Commanding Officer 
had driven them back knowing that they would be 



GREEK CRUSADE INTO ANATOLIA 95 

massacred because “ he needed a raison d'itre for advanc- 
ing into and beyond Aidin.” 

At home the Greeks were unstable. They grew tired 
of war and the suppression of their liberty. In November, 
1919, M. Venizelos warned the Supreme Council that 
Greece could not continue to keep up a huge army to 
police Smyrna. The Greeks were in the unfortunate 
position of the man who put one finger into a sausage- 
machine and then when he wished to withdraw he could 
not and had to go through and become a sausage al- 
together. 

j Aided by the dissensions of the Allies, by their pre- 
occupation and by their inability to take military action, 
the Turks succeeded. They found many Allies. Central 
Asia with Bokhara, Samarkand and Afghanistan was 
prepared to be troublesome. The British retreat out 
of the Caspian, their withdrawal in Anatolia, their 
inability to act in Persia and their weakness in India 
encouraged many to break out. The Kurds were angry 
at the idea of an Armenian State, and in June 1919 they 
became a menace to Irak. The Tartars of Nachivan 
and the Emir Feisal and the Arabs were disgruntled. In 
all directions were potential allies and Mustapha Kemal 
with uncommon skill roused dissatisfaction, raised the 
hopes of resistance or of advantages to be gained, and 
turned all the eyes of the dissatisfied towards Angora.| 
The Turkish nation was facing a Christian crusade. It 
became itself the forefront of a crusade and behind it 
muttered and growled all Asia ready for revolt. 



CHAPTER XII 


The Pleasant Life of Constantinople and 
the Signs of Danger 

F or the minute there was a lull, and only in the 
distance came the dull mutterings of the gather- 
ing storm. Constantinople had ceased to be the 
heart of a great empire, but by its geographical and its 
religious position it remained the centre of a complicated 
web. Sitting there in the centre we could feel the 
storm as it rose and its first faint tremors shook each 
strand of the web. From far out in Central Asia, from 
the Balkans, from Russia and the Caucasus, from Arabia 
and Anatolia came reports of danger. The British High 
Commissioner sent out repeated warnings, but the 
Great Four in Paris ignored them. They thundered 
out their orders to the World as if they were gods, but 
there was no bolt with the thunder, and it was but 
empty rumbling. 

Of weakness there had been warnings enough. Italian 
troops had mutinied when ordered to Albania. French 
sailors had mutinied in the Black Sea. British soldiers 
had marched up to the War Office in Whitehall to 
protest against the slowness of demobilization. The 
Great Four gave their orders, but they had no power 

96 



PLEASANT LIFE OF CONSTANTINOPLE 97 

left to enforce them. This fact the East was gradually 
realizing. 

In December 1919 the French had taken over Syria 
and Cilicia. The Allies were retiring gracefully out of 
Anatolia, without incidents. The Greeks appeared 
firmly established round Smyrna. The Nationalists were 
constantly reported to be growing strong, but beyond 
irregulars and guerrilla fighters they had shown little 
real strength. 

For the time being Constantinople was untroubled. 
The Allies had come to the city in victory. The 
Christians and even the Turks had welcomed them with 
joy. They came as deliverers and they came "with their 
pockets stuffed with good money. They spent it 
liberally. They were in the “ care-free ” state that 
characterized the early months of the Armistice. The 
cafes, restaurants and dancing-halls, that had catered 
for the Germans, now catered for them, and the black- 
eyed Greek and Armenian girls, who had been kind to 
“ Fritz,” were now lavish in their attentions to the 
British and French soldiers. They lived as liberators, 
heroes and victors among a friendly population, and they 
paid their way without undue argument. Their admirers 
put away carefully their fezes, which were wrapped up 
in tissue paper against the future, and bought hats and 
account-books in honour of the allies and as a sign that 
the Turks were no more. 

Life was gay and wicked and delightful. The cafes 
were full of drinking and dancing. There was none of 
the clogging drag of home ties. It was good to go to 
the Tokatlian Hotel and hear the renowned Tzigane 

H 



98 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

orchestra play its sighing gipsy songs and to catch the 
eyes of pretty girls and to dance with them between the 
tables. It was good when it was hot to stroll into the 
garden of the Petits Champs des Morts, while the night 
hid the refuse in the grave-yard below, and watch the 
cheap artists on the stage and drink black coffee and 
discuss the crowd that sauntered by under the lime 
trees, and bandy jokes in broken French with the demu 
mondaines^ and play at being a millionaire. 

It was good to take ship and sail away between the 
islands of the Marmora to bathe in cool coves or up the 
Bosphorus, from the terrace of some palace, to dive into 
the swift stream and battle with it. Houses and cars 
and motor boats were there for the asking, for the army 
supplied them out of its liberal purse or by requisition. 
Every one expected the occupation to last only a few 
months, and they revelled while they had the opportunity 
and the money. For myself I did not unpack for the 
first six months, thinking that the end must come soon, 

There were quaint forbidden tea-parties in Chichli, 
the suburb of Pera, to which came Turkish ladies just 
reaching out to grasp their new found liberty. They 
encouraged me to talk my broken Turkish. They cooed 
and complimented me on a fluency that I did not possess, 
until I grew hot and awkward and my field-boots seemed 
long and my spurs caught in the fringes of the ridiculous 
furniture. Their rooms were arranged in Victorian 
fashion with hard straight chairs and useless tables and 
pictures in shell frames and fans and feathers. When 
we had talked of the weather and my extensive knowledge 
of Turkish, there was little left to be said. In cool rooms 



PLEASANT LIFE OF CONSTANTINOPLE 99 

that shut out the dusty streets and the blazing sun they 
sat with folded hands. As was the girl I had seen long 
ago in the office of the Governor of Stambul that day I 
came from the prison, they were dainty, exquisite and 
scented. Their eyes were black and deep, their skins 
white as alabaster and where it stretched over bones the 
blue veins showed through. They were aristocratic and 
courteous, but incredibly dull, except that sometimes a 
topic would touch politics or war or the Nationalists, 
and then their bodies would stiffen and the languid depth 
would go out of their eyes and they would be alive ; 
for they love and hate well and are fierce, cruel and 
fanatical patriots. 

The old order and the harems were gone. Economic 
considerations had destroyed them. “ In the old days,” 
said one dame, “ there were palaces and gardens and 
slaves and servants and these things might have been, 
but how can my husband expect to shut me up in a two- 
roomed flat ? ” At tea-parties they were stiff and 
formal, but under other circumstances one learnt more 
of them. 

As often, though it was forbidden, I rowed myself 
down one June evening from the summer Embassy, 
that is on the cool hills just below the Black Sea, to the 
terrace garden of some Turkish friends. Their 
hospitality was extensive, and evening changed to night 
with pale stars striving with the saffron of the sunset. 
One by one came rowing boats and from them landed 
Turkish ladies, girls and old women, who talked awhile 
under the veil of the gloaming and then went elsewhere. 
They said shameless open things to each other and to 



lOO 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


me, and they laughed softly together. They were 
frankly sexual. But before their men they are reserved, 
for the Turks are eaten up with a wild jealousy that has 
no basis in their religion, but is animal and natural. 
They are infuriated at the sight of their women with a 
foreigner, as we British are. 

It was late when I rose to go, and two girls volunteered 
to row me back upstream. They sculled well. The 
party saw us to the steps of the terrace with all the old- 
world courtesy that might have been for a Pasha. A 
yellow moon, warm from the day, had crept across the 
sky. The villages were all asleep. Across the stream a 
mile away the hills of Asia were silhouetted against the 
sky and on the shores the shadow was deep, rich-coloured 
and deep as a bowl of wine. A motor boat of an allied 
general raced by without lights. The waves slapped us 
softly and went in long ripples to lap and break among the 
broken terraces on the shore. 

Suddenly from a balcony came the sound of a harp. 
It was Madame Sabline, a great lady of the late Czar’s 
court, who had escaped out of the terror of Russia, who 
played. Each note, each run, the melody came in 
exquisite perfection soft and clear to us across the moon- 
lit water and in the silence broken only by the sound of 
distant dogs barking and the creak of some wood ship 
at anchor. The two girls whispered to each other and 
rowed again and laughed together, and their laughter 
was as soft as the bubbles that sang against the boat as 
we cut our way forward. 

But between them and me a great gulf was fixed. We 
had nothing in common. The music, the moon, the 



PLEASANT LIFE OF CONSTANTINOPLE loi 


beauty meant other things to them. I could see the 
shimmer of their long white silk gowns as their bodies, 
ripe and supple, swung as they rowed. White silk scarfs 
were over their hair and wound round their necks so 
that they seemed like hoods. In the half light their 
eyes looked out black and alluring and enticing. I was 
caught by a subtle attraction, by curiosity, by the lure 
for the forbidden and the unknown, by the pulse and 
tingle of desire. I was dealing with unknown worlds in 
shadows. Behind them seemed mystery and the East. 
Yet in the moonlight their skins gleamed as white as 
any Saxon’s. As they spoke there was none of the 
harsh gutturals of the Arab. The scent of them was 
the scent of powdered Paris, and not the greasy odours 
of the East. Yet, except desire, between us there was 
nothing in common, neither religion nor language, nor 
habits nor morals. 

I found the Greeks and Armenians liberal in their 
favours. Their soirees and tea-parties were gay. They 
chattered in the ugly French of Pera or in pidgin English 
and broke off at times into their own hoarse languages. 
They were full of clumsy subtleties and crude doubU- 
entendres. Spoken with every conceivable accent the 
word “ shocking ” appeared to be the dominant feature 
of their lives. Even at their pleasantest they were 
irritating. They had an ulterior motive of gain in every 
action. They irritated because they aped the European. 
They played at being of the West and civilized, but 
between &em and the European was a gulf as wide as 
that between the Turk and the British, and it had no 
subtlety or charm or mystery to hide it. 



102 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


The life was full of intrigues and counter-intrigues. 
All the complications that had formed the varied texture 
of Ottoman rule remained. Religions and creeds strove 
one with another. The European Powers struggled to 
get a privileged hold and oust their rivals. All the 
countless peoples of the city worked for different ends, 
and the old control was gone. The old system of 
Government and the regular routine of bribery had 
disappeared, and no central policy or power dominated 
the situation. 

We had strict orders to avoid all complications, but, 
strive and struggle as it might, the Embassy became 
often enmeshed sometimes in some new quarrel and 
sometimes in some rivalry centuries old. It was in a 
false position. Its hands were tied. A thousand con- 
structive and active decisions were required. It was 
ordered to be negative and inactive. The simplest 
problem would be found to be complicated. It would, 
for example, contain questions affecting Italian amour 
propre, special French capitulation rights, aspirations of 
the Armenians and the Arabs, and American trading 
rights ; and there was no government or power to over- 
ride or co-ordinate these and settle the problem. Out- 
side events affected the situation each hour. A Bolshevik 
success, a riot in India, the formation of an American 
trade corporation, materially influenced each issue. We 
were lost in the vast muddle of trade, religion and politics 
that made an unholy tangle. 

Many of the intrigues were parts of mere political and 
local fracas, but some had world-wide significance. For 
close on sixteen centuries there had been a battle royal 



PLEASANT LIFE OF CONSTANTINOPLE 103 

between the Pope and the Patriarch and the centuries 
had not reduced its virulence. The quarrel began with 
the transfer of the imperial capital from Rome to 
Constantinople by Constantine in 330 a.d. As the 
rivalry between the capitals of Old and New Rome 
increased that between the prelates kept pace, for the 
bishop of Constantinople aspired to equality with the 
bishop of Rome. It grew bitter in the eleventh century 
and culminated in the excommunication of the Patriarch 
Cerularius when at 9 a.m. on the morning of the i6th 
of July, 1054, the papal legates laid the bull of excom- 
munication on the altar of St. Sophia. That marked 
one of the great points in the world’s history, for on that 
date the Eastern church and the By2antine political 
system broke away from the West. The quarrel was 
embittered and the hope of reconciliation was destroyed 
by the crusades and especially the fourth and most 
scandalous crusade. Mohammed the Conqueror found it 
to his advantage, for the citizens of Constantinople were 
bitter against the Pope of Rome and refused all help. 
He and his successors used it as a lever against Christian 
Europe and the Patriarchate became a department of the 
Ottoman Empire. For a while, submerged below the 
Ottoman rule, the quarrel died down. It flared up again 
at the Armistice in 1918. Greece was among the victors. 
She dreamed of a Greater Greece and of herself as the 
heir to Byzantium as well as to the Old Greece. The 
Allies encouraged her. As she grew, so the Patriarch 
increased in importance and had the dream been realized 
the Greek Patriarch in Constantinople, surrounded by 
a growing Greek Empire and looked to by the ruined 



104 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


churches of Russia and Bulgaria, would have been a 
worthy rival to the Pope. 

That dream was broken, but the old quarrel took a 
new shape ; for the Archbishop of Canterbury began 
an extensive flirtation with the Patriarch. He persuaded 
the Patriarch Meletios to recognize the orders of the 
Anglican church. There was much rejoicing in the 
Church of England, but the Archbishop never realized 
that for his part he was expected to produce not fine 
words about spiritual reunion, but horses and men and 
guns. In the failure of the Allies came ruin to the 
Patriarch. 

For myself I found the greatest problem was to arrive 
at the facts and the truth of any subject. Facts, as we 
understand them, did not exist. For an example, to 
us the figure “ 2 ” represents a definite entity. In 
Turkey it was a hazy outline and wandered down to 
zero on one side and up to a thousand on the other. 
The art of lying had been carried to such a finish as to 
complicate life unduly. With us lying is a luxury for 
which we have to pay dearly, but in Turkey it was a 
necessity of life. Ever3rthing said by anyone was auto- 
matically a lie, and the lie was no simple, straightforward 
lie but a complicated affair sometimes with an object, 
often based on a substratum of truth, but just as often 
it was a matter of habit. Life was spent in doing mental 
addition or subtraction sums and guessing at the answers. 

That subterranean mentality was the essential part 
of the life, and it was aptly illustrated by the history of 
a friend of mine. He was a Scotchman and over fond 
of power. He was also a friend of Damad Ferid Pasha, 



PLEASANT LIFE OF CONSTANTINOPLE f 105 

the Sultan’s brother-in-law and the Grand Vizier, and 
he advised him. The Grand Vizier believed that this 
gentleman was an official agent of the High Commissioner. 
Admiral Sir John de Robeck and Mr. Ryan, his Drago- 
man, explicitly and repeatedly informed Damad Ferid 
that we had no such agent, but he persisted and following 
the advice that he received from the Scotchman he did 
many stupid things and then felt aggrieved because the 
British Government refused to support him. Eventually 
after a heavy luncheon and over a cup of coffee in his 
palace on the Bosphorus I ventured as a friend to mention 
the same fact to Damad Ferid. He pondered for a 
while and then he said, 

“ Then why did this gentleman meddle in politics ? ” 
and I replied, 

“But His Excellency, the High Commissioner, has 
often warned Your Highness. Why would you not 
believe him ? ” 

Then he pondered again for a while, and he said, 

“ The greater the man, the greater the liar.” 

Like animals that are soft and unprotected, the 
Christians of Turkey have a subtle extra sense of danger 
at a distance. Before the end of 1919 they realized 
that the position was changing. The soirees grew less 
in number and fezes began to reappear in the streets 
of Pera. The run on Homburg hats was over. 

Moreover, Constantinople was not showing itself duly 
responsive to the vaunted civilized rule of the Allies. 
Trade was stagnant. The money-changers misused the 
market at their pleasure. Prices had bounded up 
unchecked and profiteering was general. The streets 



io6 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

of the city were dirtier than before. There was more 
open immorality and blatant drunkenness than in the 
days of the Turks. There was less justice, and that 
only rough justice dished out by inexperienced officers. 
The Capitulations had been extended to all the Allies 
and half the city paid no taxes, so that the municipal 
services had no means with which to do their work. 
Indiscriminate requisitions far in excess of the military 
requirements of the force had annoyed the householders 
and the well-to-do of all creeds. There was little or 
nothing that the Allies could point to with pride, and 
already the people of Constantinople sighed for the 
efficient Germans. 

As ever, while the Christians lived in terror, the Turks 
sat placid and unmoved, waiting what should come. I 
wandered in the Oriental quarters of Stambul and down 
by the palace and the village of Beshik Tash. The men 
lounged and smoked in the open in front of the caf^s or 
squatted in their shops. Their houses were blind with 
all the windows covered with lattices and the doors 
closed and no sign of life or movement. The houses 
were dumb and blind but behind the lattices were women 
watching and now and again, as I passed, I heard a little 
laugh or a quick drawn-in whispering. In the Christian 
quarters men in shirt-sleeves and women with frowzy 
hair and frowzier clothes leaned out of the upper windows 
the live-long day. All the lower windows were guarded 
by strong bars and the street doors were of heavy iron. 
I visited many houses and rang clanging cracked bells. 
Some one would inspect me through a grating, and when 
I had stated my name, nationality and business, the 



PLEASANT LIFE OF CONSTANTINOPLE 107 

information was called to the upper stories by shrill, 
unmusical voices. Then with the clanking of r.bgina 
and grinding of locks the door would be opened a little 
and closed again as soon as I was within. Such, even 
when the Allies were in occupation and the danger 
was but distant, was the fear that lay heavy on this city. 

Outside the life of the town, bringing their own ways 
of life and their own gaiety, came Russian refugees 
by the tens of thousands, aristocrats of the old regime 
and bourgeoisie of all sorts and kinds. As long as 
they had money they lived gaily and then they were 
absorbed among the beggars or the restaurants or into 
other countries. The men of all classes did little to 
earn respect. The women, whether the grand dames 
from the court or the dancers of the Imperial ballet or 
the wives of merchants or even the demi-rrumdaines, 
had an unrivalled charm. They had all the delicacy, 
breeding and taste that the life of Europe and its education 
can give. They had all the placid fatalistic acceptance 
of facts that marks the Eastern. They had none of the 
hard calculating mind of the Englishwoman which even 
when she has given her heart still goes on doing sums 
of “ worth while.” They had a brilliance and a culture 
that crowded out the dullness of the Turkish ladies. 
They had a charm and breeding that showed polished 
beside the rude strainings of the local Christians. They 
were not immoral for they were non-moral. 

“ Vous serez toujours fidMe ? ” said an enamoured 
British officer. 

“ Ah ! oui I jusqua la derni^re fois,” replied his 
Russian dame. 



io8 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

They were irresponsible in their decisions. They 
enjoyed the good things of life to the maximum and 
without regret. When evil came, they faced it placidly. 
They swept into the life of Constantinople until every 
wife, whether Turk or English or Greek, learned to hate 
them. 

In the excitement of the political intrigues, in watching 
the play of forces, in bathing and picnics in the rich 
sun, in exploring in twisted alleys and ancient ham 
and the vaults below Stambul and the great mosques, 
I found time passed rapidly. 

Suddenly the first buffets of the threatening storm 
struck our web and shook it from end to end. ‘By the 
loth of December 1919, the British had evacuated Syria 
and Cilicia, and the French, as always, still believing 
that they had somehow been tricked and misled, had 
taken over. They commenced to arm the local Armenians 
and to enlist them. Without hesitation the Nationalist 
Turks struck. They attacked the French at Marash 
and after a siege drove them out and besieged the garrison 
in Urfa, which made terms to be allowed to retire un- 
molested, but in the open country they were treacherously 
attacked and forced to surrender. The “ National Pact ” 
was proclaimed and signed by the members of the 
Ottoman Parliament which still sat in Constantinople. 
In the city, the Ministry of War and all departments 
began openly to work for the Nationalists and to send 
them arms and money and men. Any orders issued, 
or representations made, by the Allies were ignored, and 
marked hostility and disrespect were shown. A 
Nationalist Government was in power. On the 27th 



PLEASANT LIFE OF CONSTANTINOPLE 109 

of January a dump of arms under a French guard in the 
Gallipoli peninsula was raided and cleared. Throughout 
Cilicia and in parts of Anatolia there were fierce massacres 
of Armenians, and in the middle of February the 
Bolsheviks captured Odessa and chased out the British 
mission, the British battleships and a horde of refugees. 
The threatened danger was on us. 



CHAPTER XIII 


The Treaty of Sevres. The Storm Bursts, 

1920 

I RRITATED by this show of resistance on the part 
of a defeated enemy, the Allies decided to teach 
the Turks a lesson. The British Commander, 
General Sir George Milne, had some idea of the strength 
of the Nationalists. The French from their Cilician 
experiences had more. The Embassies had very little 
and the Allied Premiers in Paris had no conception at 
all of the situation that now faced them. They did 
not realize that they were dealing with a live force and 
not with the decrepit relics of the old Ottoman Empire. 
Anatolia was not affected by an economic blockade, nor 
did it care whether or not it was recognized as one 
of the family of nations. It was only through Con- 
stantinople that punishment could be inflicted, and it 
was decided to occupy Constantinople officially on the 
1 6th of March. 

The occupation was to be carried out by Lieut.- 
General Sir Henry Wilson as the Officer Commanding 
the Allied troops of the area. The French and Italian 
Governments signed the instructions. Their depart- 
ments in Paris and Rome held up the executive orders. 

110 



THE TREATY OF S£VRES 


III 


The occupation was carried out, but by British sailors 
and soldiers alone ; and only when the French and 
Italians saw that it had been successful and that the 
whole control of the city and area would be in British 
hands, did they combine and claim a share in this con- 
trol. Martial law was proclaimed. The life of the 
city was to continue as before. The Ottoman Govern- 
ment was allowed to work, but every branch was to 
be carefully supervised. The Ministry of War, the 
Admiralty, the customs, passports, ports, telegraphs and 
newspapers were watched and controlled by Allied 
officers. The Allied Police Commission already in 
existence was strengthened, and the French had some 
organization for the gendarmerie. 

On the night prior to the occupation a number of 
prominent Turks were arrested as active supporters of 
the Nationalists. In the prisons there were already 
many officials and officers, accused of participation in 
massacres or ill-treatment of prisoners-of-war. They 
were all shipped off at once and imprisoned in a camp 
at Malta,’ 

The story of these deportees is a sorry one. Among 
them were evil criminals, who had murdered prisoners- 
of-war. Many were ordinary normal Turks who had 
been leading men in Turkey during the war. Some 
were arrested on the poor evidence of a couple of Arme- 
nian women or on that of an enemy. More than one 
was arrested in error. They were imprisoned in condi- 
tions quite out of keeping with their rank or position. 
They were kept two years in confinement without being 
charged with any crime. They were herded all together, 



II3 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


those arrested for political offences old and new, and 
those for massacre, murder and evil crimes. Thus the 
foul beast Mazlum Bey from Afion-Kara-Hissar, who 
had murdered British prisoners-of-war and committed 
loathsome crimes and offences, was confined with Said 
Halim Pasha, the old Grand Vizier, who had opposed 
the declaration of war and had been persuaded by 
Enver Pasha against his better judgment to sign. It 
was as if the victorious Germans had shut Lord Balfour 
in with a gang of criminals like Crippen and Mahon. 
As pressed continually on the Home Government the 
matter could have been disposed of easily and well. 
A court could have tried each case, hung the murderer, 
sent the evil-doer to hard labour, released the innocent 
and, if considered necessary, interned those politically 
dangerous. But the affair dragged on, and late in 1921 
all these prisoners without distinction were released, 
and those who wished it were shipped back to Turkey. 

The results of these deportations were considerable. 
All Turks of military age began to leave for Anatolia, 
and all men of any importance made for Angora. The 
Sultan’s advisers were believed to have supplied many 
of the names, and hatred against the Sultan increased. 
The belief in British justice suffered a rude shock. 
Many of the deportees were men of great importance. 
When released tihey became ministers and deputies in 
the Angora Government, and their hatred of the British 
was not diminished by their imprisonment, degradation 
and general treatment in Malta. 

The deportations and the occupation of Constanti- 
nople encouraged the Sultan and his supporters. Both 



THE TREATY OF SEVRES 


he and his brother-in-law Damad Ferid Pasha were 
early convinced that Mustapha Kemal and the National- 
ists were intent on forming a separate Government. 
It is hard to say how far this attitude on their part 
drove the Nationalists to separation, or how far the 
Sultan and his supporters knew their own countrymen 
well enough to realize that, if given a free hand, they 
would take this line. The Sultan endeavoured to 
involve us on his side. We struggled to keep clear, 
for in February 1919 the High Commissioner had 
received instructions to protect the Sultan, but to take 
no action against any Turks who might come into power, 
even if they were members of the old hostile Committee 
of Union and Progress, and on no account to become 
involved in local Turkish affairs. 

Very soon the Sultan’s enemies became our enemies, 
and, in acting in our defence, it was difficult to avoid 
acting on his behalf. To those on the spot to stand 
by the Sultan was clearly the soxmd policy. He repre- 
sented the de jure Government. He was friendly, pre- 
pared to carry out the Allies’ orders, and he was within 
their control. British interests were few. We required 
the Straits open, and fair play for our traders. We 
needed the moral support of the Kdialif for our Moslem 
subjects. There was on us a moral obligation to protect 
the Christian minorities. In the early months of 1919 
and in 1930, given moral support, a loan and a free 
hand, the Sultan could have asserted himself and dealt 
with the first efforts of Mustapha Kemal. The peasantry 
were still loyal. They believed that they were enlisting 
to save him. ;^He sent his Grand Vizier hot-foot to 


1 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


114 

the Embassies with warnings and requests to be allowed 
to act. He was refused permission. He was tied hand 
and foot and then called upon to carry out the Allies’ 
demands. As the power passed to the Nationalists, he 
became valueless. He was an old man, living in con- 
stant fear of assassination, and he was dominated by 
his Grand Vizier. 

Damad Ferid was of a far different type. He was a 
stubborn, brave, unwise old man. He was an Albanian 
with a touch of Kurdish blood in him, and he had all 
the fierce hatred of the blood feud in his soul. He 
was a clansman without compromise. Throughout he 
had warned the British of the dangers and he had taken 
what steps he could to destroy the Nationalists, until 
the breach between Angora and Constantinople was 
broad and unbridgeable. His personality counted for 
much. His lack of compromise and his pursuit of his ven- 
detta against his enemies made reconciliation impossible. 

Faced by the same enemies, despite intentions to 
the contrary, we found ourselves working with the 
Sultan’s party. Undoubtedly a number of the deportees 
were arrested at Damad Ferid’s request. Now threat- 
ened by the Nationalists, we went a step farther. Sir 
George Milne sent one of his staff, Colonel Shuttleworth, 
to discuss with Zeki and Hamdi Pashas at the Ministry 
of War the formation of two divisions of royalist troops 
to be organized with British officers. As soon as these 
were ready, they were to be taken by sea to the north 
coast of Anatolia and marched in on the Nationalist 
flank and rear. 

. The Sultan bestirred himself. He issued an Imperial 



THE TREATY OF SfiVEES 


”5 


Iradi proclaiming Mustapha Kemal and his associates 
outlaws and a Fetwa which excommunicated them. He 
dissolved the Ottoman Government, and recalled back 
to power Damad Ferid, who had been forced to resign 
some months before. He tried to raise the Kurds to 
his aid. The Allies agreed and he arranged for arms 
and stores to be sent from the depots under Allied control 
to the Circassians fighting for him under Ahmed Anza- 
vour. He sent troops to Yalova and Ismidt. Still the 
Allies did not back him fully. Few of the arms and 
stores reached the Circassians. The local officials held 
them up and these officials were under Allied control. 
Up to the end why we should not act together against 
a common enemy to our mutual advantage was not 
imderstood by the Sultan nor by Damad Ferid, nor yet 
by any reasonable person in possession of the facts. 

' The result of the Sultan’s actions was negligible, but 
it drove the Nationalists to fury. They denounced the 
Central Government. They swore vengeance on Damad 
Ferid. They formed at Angora the Grand National 
Assembly to carry on the government of the country, 
as long as Constantinople was in bondage. They pre- 
pared to fight to the end. 

! Then the full storm burst on us with blow on crash- 
ing blow. Hardly had the occupation been completed 
before the Turks surrounded the British garrison at 
Eski-Shehir. All other garrisons and Control Officers 
had been withdrawn to avoid capture or arrest except 
this one, and it had been left on the railway junction 
to assist the retirement of Italian troops from Konia. 
The garrison cut its way out, but lost a number of 



ii6 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

men and animals. The Italians with their line of retreat 
gone were forced to turn off at Afion-Kara-Hissar, and 
escape by the Greek zone and Smyrna. In Europe 
Germany showed signs of revolt, and a revolution in 
favour of the Kaiser blazed up for a while. Ireland 
was twisted in pain, and all the force of England was 
concentrated in holding her down. The Kurds were 
rising on the Mesopotamian frontier. Behind us in 
Eastern Thrace a certain Jaffar Tahir had raised the Turks, 
and they were arming and drilling and organizing from 
Adrianople. 

Infuriated at the attitude of the . Sultan, Mustapha 
Kemal and the new Government at Angora proceeded 
forthwith to make a military convention with the Bol- 
shevik Government of Moscow. Denikin and his 
counter-revolutionary troops had been smashed. They 
had shown neither efficiency nor honesty. The Turks 
and the Bolsheviks had a common aim in the destruction 
of the British Empire, their common enemy. They 
struck at her feet in the East. The Bolsheviks seized 
Azerbaijan. By a concentrated action with the Turks 
from the south they forced Armenia to her knees, and 
captured Kars and Nakhitchevan. Now Nakhitchevan 
and Kars form the back door of Anatolia and a side 
door to Persia, and are on the way to Mesopotamia. 
The Allied general staffs became alarmed. They pre- 
pared plans to stop the Russian advance southwards. 
They feared Bolshevik propaganda on the heels of 
victorious troops. The British discussed the safety of 
Bagdad and Jerusalem and even produced schemes to 
cover the Suez Canal. 



THE TEEATY OF SFVRES 


1 17 

The Sultan’s troops, sent to Yalova and Adabazar, 
refused to fight in the civil war. Those under Ahmed 
Anzavour were driven back, and wiped out, and he 
was himself killed. 

In May the terms of the Treaty of Sfevres were pub- 
lished. President Wilson and the Americans had left 
the Conference in December 1919, and with them they 
took all their idealism. The Peace Conference reverted 
to old European methods and diplomacy. The secret 
treaties of the war, that had hovered behind the Con- 
ference like pale ghosts, afraid of the light from America, 
now came forward. The march of events had at last 
warned the Allies and they set to work to be finished 
with Turkey. The result was the Treaty of Sevres. 

It was based and bound on the secret treaties. Italy 
and Greece, before they entered the war with the Allies, 
had bargained for their prices and had been promised 
sections of Anatolia as payment. France had her 
aspirations, and England her policies. They were all 
fitted into the treaty. Annexation of territory was con- 
cealed behind the American idea of “ mandates.” Syria 
and Cilicia went to France. Sm3rma and Western 
Thrace and most of Eastern Thrace to Greece. Italy 
got the islands. Russia had been promised Constanti- 
nople and the area of the Straits and the Bosphorus. 
But she was out of the running and they were put under 
an international regime with the Greeks down the 
western shore of the Marmora and on the Gallipoli 
peninsula. 

The Turks, with Smyrna cut out, were to have 
Anatolia as far as the Georgian, Armenian, Kurdish, 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


ii8 

and Mesopotamian frontiers, but every detail of their 
lives was to be supervised. There were Commissions 
and Sub-Commissions. There was the Sub-Commission 
of Organization to disband the Turkish army and to 
form the new forces of a limited volunteer army and 
gendarmerie. There was a Sub-Commission to look 
after custom officials, forest guards and urban and rural 
police. Nominal sovereign rights were left to the 
Turks, but they were bound hand and foot with rigid 
irons. Their finances were strictly controlled. 

Attached to the treaty, and not made public until 
Damad Ferid had signed, was a tripartite agreement 
between England, France and Italy, It divided Anatolia 
into three pieces. In the Southern portion the “ special 
interests of Italy were recognized.” In the Eastern 
section “ the special interests of France were recog- 
nized.” The remaining portion was not allotted, but 
it was presumed that England would have “ special 
interests ” there. Beyond this all the sections of the 
old Ottoman Empire were portioned off to Arabs and 
Kurds and Jews. 

It was incredible that under the conditions in existence 
at that moment such a treaty could have been proposed. 
The Ottoman Empire was dead, and so far as the treaty 
marked that fact it was of value ; but it took no stock 
of the new forces, of the weakness of the Allies and 
the strength of the enemy. Compromises undoubtedly 
made it unreal. Those who framed it must have been 
completely ignorant of the position of affairs, and their 
advisers woefully ignorant of geography and ethnology. 
I was amazed at the attitude of some of the advisers. 



THE TREATY OF SJTVRES 


119 

On his way to Paris, one sat in my oflSce and blandly 
discussed whether Proportional Representation rather 
than the Majority Electoral System had better be 
included in the constitution of the Kurdish state, about 
to be framed ; and for some time it was seriously con- 
sidered giving the mandate of the Jewish home in 
Palestine to the Arab King of the Hedjaz. The treaty 
was grossly immoral. This portioning out of the home- 
lands of a people into sections like slabs of bread to 
be devoured by various powers has, throughout modem 
history, been considered immoral. Moreover, by its 
‘‘ spheres of interest ” it perpetrated the ancient rivalry 
between the nations in Turkey. 

The publication of the terms had an instantaneous 
effect. All Turks realized that it meant their destmc- 
tion. The sea-shore was to be taken from them, and 
they were to be confined to central Anatolia. A hostile 
Armenia was to be formed in their rear, and they were 
to be chained hand and foot by controls. Their attitude 
stiffened. They were now to fight not the Greeks alone, 
but all the Allies, to save themselves from annihilation. 
They at once attacked and captured the French garrison 
in Bozanti, and the French Government was glad to 
come to terms and sign an armistice with them. 

^The Turks set their teeth and reorganized. They 
smashed what was left of the Sultan’s troops and finished 
the civil war. All dissensions and quarrels among them 
disappeared. The Eastern troops were put under 
Kiazim Kara Bekir and the Western under Ali Fuad 
Pasha with the central supreme command of Mustapha 
Kemal at Angora. Now all parties, except the immediate 



120 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


entourage of the Sultan, combined in the struggle to 
save their country, and every Turk worth his salt became 
a Nationalist. 

It was a fight to the finish. They closed in on the 
Allies in Constantinople. They attacked the French 
battalion that protected the coal mines at Zangulduk 
and this was at once withdrawn. The last few troops 
of the Italians scampered out of Anatolia to avoid 
destruction. 

The Bolsheviks had pushed in across the Caucasus 
and, to avoid contact, as ordered by the War Ofiice 
the British retired and so evacuated Batum and all the 
Caucasus. This left the flank of Wrangel’s anti-revolu- 
tionary army exposed. The Bolsheviks had swung into 
northern Persia and with their coming the treaty signed 
between England and Persia on the 9th of August, 19191 
and all the structure that was built on it, collapsed. 

That treaty is worthy of a passing notice, for it aptly 
illustrates, from Persia, much that led to the failxife in 
Turkey. It was a treaty made in haste and secrecy 
and only published when signed. It was done under 
the supervision of Lord Curzon, who as a distinguished 
amateur diplomatist had had an exceptional record of 
failure. It was made against the advice of many great 
experts, such as Lord Grey. It was the old diplomatic 
method of try ing to get ahead of other Powers, but it 
only annoyed our Allies and helped to break the Entente. 
As in the Treaty of Sevres, it ignored the size of the 
military forces of the British Empire. It took on vast 
commitments without the means to carry them out. 
The British army was being reduced to a few divisions. 



THE TREATY OF SEVRES 121 

These were needed for India and Ireland. It is not 
too much to say that if all the schemes of Mr. Lloyd 
George and Lord Curzon had been carried out, troops 
would have been required to police a frontier from 
Burma to Teheran, from Teheran to the Caspian with 
a post at Constantinople. The Bolshevik advance 
finally disposed of that treaty. 

The East was up. A sheet of flame ran across it. 
India was seething. A great Moslem pilgrimage to 
Kabul was in progress as a protest against British Chris- 
tian rule. The Amir thinking that India was in disorder 
followed the tradition of his ancestors, declared war 
and advanced on India for his loot. The Hindus were 
unsettled and the Amritzar riots were a symptom. In 
Egypt there was revolt. The East was indeed aflame, 
and it was not merely the Moslem East for Hindus and 
Moslems in India, Syria Christians and Mohammedans 
in Syria against the French, and Copts and Moslems in 
Egypt, had combined for resistance on common grounds. 

June found the British Empire in the East buffeted 
with great blows and rocking to its foundations. Of 
force there was none to employ. Ireland had absorbed 
the small army that the British were prepared to support. 
We had enmeshed ourselves in the wastes of Mesopo- 
tamia, and the Arabs rose against our benign rule on 
the 3rd of June. In Turkey the Nationalists had cleared 
all Anatolia of Allied troops, except the Greeks in the 
Smyrna area, and the British had fallen back on a line 
behind Ismidt to cover Constantinople. In front of 
them entrenched was the last remnant of the Sultan’s 
troops. The Turks waited no more. Ali Fuad Pasha 



122 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


attacked. He drove in the half-hearted Sultanic troops 
without effort, and they retired tlirough the British lines. 
Without hesitation the Nationalists attacked the British. 
On the night of the I5th-i6th of June three assaults 
were repulsed with difficulty. The French were hard 
pressed at Heraclea. Irregulars raided the villages on 
the Asiatic shores of the Bosphorus and from Beicos 
opened fire on the fleet as it lay at anchor there. A 
shot or two struck the Austrian Embassy where the 
British High Commissioner and his staff were lodged. 

I was asleep on a terrace in the Embassy when I 
was awaked before dawn by the rifle fire. There was 
confusion and panic and noise. Across the Bosphorus 
came firing and shouting. Below in the village on our 
side the Christians were running round in terror. A 
battleship opened fire with its light guns and a regiment 
of Indian infantry was hurried up. But it was a lesson. 
The raiders were the skirmishers of the Turkish Army. 
Constantinople, the High Commission, the handful of 
Allied troops lay naked and exposed to them except for 
the navy ; and in an affair of this nature ships are of 
little value except for evacuation. 

The few troops in the Asiatic shore were in detach- 
ments down the railway to Ismidt that runs along the 
shore of the Marmora. As soon as the Turks realized 
the position they proceeded to pass down the flank 
towards Constantinople. At Derindje the depot of 
stores was burnt and blown up in preparation for retreat. 
The long bridge on the railway beyond Guebze was 
mined for destruction. The Turks were seen to be 
massing for an attack on the Ismidt detachment. It 



THE TREATY OF SfiVRES 


123 


was a critical hour. The fleet opened fire and the great 
shells blew up the Cloth Factory of Ismidt behind which 
the enemy troops were concentrating, and did great 
damage. For the minute the Turks hesitated. On the 
Dardanelles they were pressing in and the defences and 
guns there were destroyed. All preparation for a hur- 
ried evacuation of the Allies’ forces was made. The 
townspeople of Constantinople were in terror, for they 
could not but see what was happening. There were 
but two alternatives — to fight or run, and the Allies 
did not appear able or willing to fight. 



CHAPTER XIV 


The Greeks save the Allies and thrust 
back the Turks 

T he Allied Premiers looked round in despair. 
At last they half realized the situation. The 
East was up. The Bolsheviks were becoming 
dominant. The Turks were about to throw the Allied 
troops “ bag and baggage ” and in rout, out of Con- 
stantinople. Great Britain had her hands full. The 
few troops at her disposal were in Ireland. The Indian 
Army was doubtful in loyalty, and even its British officers 
were disgruntled with constant changes and the insistent 
threats of reduction. The French were busy in Syria 
and Africa and still afraid of Germany. The Italians 
were striving with the agonies of attempted red revolu- 
tion. The Premiers looked round in despair. 

Quiet, plausible, unmoved stood M. Venizelos. His 
eye-glasses and charm of manner give him an air of 
childlike simplicity, but, as ever, with careful shrewd 
calculation he was ready in Paris. At a reasonable 
price he was prepared to place the Greek troops at the 
disposal of the Allies. The price of more land round 
Smyrna and the immediate occupation of Eastern Thrace 
were at once agreed upon. The Greelcs would do the 

124 



THE GREEKS SAVE THE ALLIES 125 

dirty work of the Allies. Moreover, as Mr. Lloyd 
George fully realized, Greece was always open to coer- 
cion by a Power with a fleet. 

The Allies urged the Greeks to go forward at once. 
The French were as insistent as the British, They saw 
that a Greek advance meant a relaxation of pressure 
in Cilicia and the Turks off the Baghdad line. They 
urged General Paraskevopoulos, the Greek Commander- 
in-Chief, not to delay. 

The Greeks advanced on the aand of June, 1920. 
On all fronts they met with easy success. Their regular, 
well-conditioned troops advanced with hardly a check. 
Eastern Thrace was at once occupied. The Turks fled. 
Jaffar Tahir, the Turkish Commander, was ignominiously 
captured. The Greeks marched into Adrianople, and 
close up to the city of Constantinople within long gun 
range, on the line laid down in the Treaty of Sfevres. 
From Smyrna three columns advanced. The one in 
conjunction with the British fleet went due north and 
cleared the south coast of the Marmora and took Brusa. 
The second advanced straight into the Turks at Ala- 
shehir, and then left the plains to mount the plateau 
and halted at Ushaq. The third from Aidin advanced 
out, keeping parallel with the column on Ushaq ; and 
a division was sent to Ismidt to take over the peninsula 
and to cover the Allies in Constantinople. Everywhere 
the Turks had broken and retreated with little resistance. 

The position was saved. The Allied Premiers were 
once more under the delusion that they were dealing 
with the scrappy remnants of the tumbled-down Ottoman 
Empire. They pointed to the Greek success as proof 



126 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


that their advisers on the spot had been over-anxious 
and their information incorrect. But they had misread 
the real situation. The Turks were vigorously organiz- 
ing away in Anatolia. The troops driven in by the 
Greeks were but screens of irregulars and outposts. 
The Turkish nation with its teeth set was straining to 
get ready. It was fighting for its very life. 

M. Venizelos had contracted to be allowed to advance 
as far as the main railway and to hold Eski-Shehir and 
Afion-Kara-Hissar. This was sound strategy with a 
good line along his front and a good railway to Smyrna 
and his base. But he stopped at Ismidt, Brusa, Ushaq 
and beyond Aidin in deference to the wishes of the 
Allies. In this decision lay disaster. The four columns 
were disconnected. Their communications with the 
base were good only in one case. Strategically their 
new line had nothing in its favour, and, if attacked by 
good troops, they must have been broken in detail. 
With the coming winter the Greeks were to suffer 
much and to gain nothing by their advance. 

Meanwhile the Allies were content. Damad Ferid 
for the Sublime Porte signed the treaty in August, and 
preparations were made to put its provisions into force, 
even before ratification. The Turkish nation beyond the 
Greek outposts had been forgotten. 

At this moment, had the Allies been prepared to make 
a milder peace, there is little doubt that this could 
have been done. The Turks were much shaken by the 
Greek attack. The Nationalist regular troops were not 
ready. If the Greeks continued to advance, they could 
not be stopped. The Turkish generals could give 



THE GREEKS SAVE THE ALLIES 127 

ground to save time ; but it meant giving to their hated 
and despised enemy good pieces of Anatolia, and it 
meant that these had to be recovered. The Greeks 
were prepared to compromise, for they felt the strain. 
But the Allies upheld the terms of the Treaty of Sevres , 
and, within the Allied zone in Constantinople, Damad 
Ferid and the Sultan thundered out their hatred and 
were for no compromise. 

By the autumn of 1920 the position had crystallized. 
The Allies with a handful of troops sat in Constantinople 
and held a small neutral zone round it, that contained 
the Straits and the Bosphorus. Beyond them and pro- 
tecting them and their only protection was the Greek 
screen making a complete barrier on every side. And 
beyond that in Anatolia were the Turks working and 
organizing, growing formidable, and on their side were 
Time and Space and the unknown forces of Central 
Asia and Bolshevik Russia. Within the Allied zone 
the Powers quarrelled. The old intrigues were in full 
play. The nominal Turkish Government with the 
Sultan still remained, but it had become no more than 
the Borough Council of Constantinople, with limited 
powers. Except as an irritant, it had ceased to affect 
the situation. 

Constantinople had become a backwater. The Home 
Government paid scanty attention to its representatives 
on the spot. I had always been surprised at the maimer 
the advice and information offered by those on the 
spot was ignored by the Home Government. Hardly 
a recommendation on important subjects made by the 
High Commissioner was accepted. His warnings were 



ia8 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

laughed at and his advice was passed over. He had 
not been consulted before the occupation of Smyrna 
by the Greeks. In its early stages he had wished to 
deal with the Nationalist movement, and he had been 
forbidden to do so. He had had no say in the terms 
of the Treaty of Sevres. In every case his advice had 
been sound, and it had been ignored or listened to 
too late. Now the High Commission had become no 
more than a glorified post-ofiice, with a department for 
forwarding and re-addressing letters and requests. There 
was an incident that aptly illustrated the position. 
Eighteen days after the issue of the Treaty of Sevres 
no copy had reached the High Commission. Mr. Ryan, 
the Dragoman, when visiting the Grand Vizier, saw 
that he had several copies on a table, and Damad Ferid 
Pasha kindly gave him a copy. From this we discovered 
the exact details of the Treaty of Sevres. It is said 
that Admiral Sir John de Robeck, the High Commis- 
sioner, telegraphed the same evening to the Foreign 
Office to the effect : 

“ Beg to inform you Turks have to-day presented 
terms of Peace Treaty to Allies,” 

and that the laconic reply came back : 

“ High Commissioner’s number so and so not under- 
stood.” 

That reply was symbolical of the relation between 
the Home Government and the High Commissioner. 
Had his advice been followed, or even listened to, in 
the early months of the Armistice, the impasse now 
arrived at would not have occurred. Wireless and tele- 



THE GREEKS SAVE THE ALLIES 129 


phone and telegraph and swift ships and trains had 
withdrawn his power to act. A hundred years ago he 
would have acted quickly and decisively on his own 
initiative. The Empire was built by local action carried 
through by men of spirit. Now he was tied to the 
end of a telegraph wire and his orders were always 
to wait and remain inactive, while he watched chances 
slip away and disaster chase out victory. 

In October 1920 I left Turkey on leave. Constanti- 
nople was short-circuited. The military decisions rested 
with the Greeks and the Turks. The peace decisions 
lay between Paris, Athens and Angora. As the last 
pawn in the hands of the Allies the city and area of 
Constantinople was retained. 

I travelled on the Orient Express and there I found 
Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, Mr. Tom Shaw, Mrs. Philip 
Snowden and a party of the leading Socialists from 
France, Holland and Belgium. 

They had just returned from Southern Russia after 
a careful investigation into the results of the Russian 
Revolution. They were openly depressed. The so- 
called “ Workers’ Revolution,” that had been acclaimed 
as one of the successes of the Labour movement, had 
proved a failure. It had been a vast experiment along 
lines preached by the Socialists, and it had brought 
nothing but black ruin. Without hesitation Mr. Ramsay 
MacDonald and his friends pronounced Bolshevism to 
be a failure. They were convinced that fire and sword 
and the use of naked force were not the way to produce 
a new and perfect social order. They were opposed 
to “ Force ” in all its forms. 

K 



130 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


The Labour Parties of Western Europe and especially 
the British seemed at that moment to be at the parting 
of the ways. To attain their ends they had to choose 
between constitutional and legal methods or the line of 
“ direct action ” with strikes and sabotage and red 
revolution. They had to decide whether they would 
strive slowly to mould the present state of affairs into 
the form that they desired, or whether, as had been 
done in Russia, they would set to work to try, as a^minority, 
to seize power, tear up and destroy the existing system 
and out of the resulting ruins construct a new state. 

The “ Third International,” and the Russian Bol- 
sheviks behind it, claimed their allegiance. The “ Second 
International ” had proved to be too much a mixture 
of m i l k and water. The attempt to form a “ Two-and-a- 
Half International ” had caused more humour than result. 

On that journey I saw that even these International 
Socialists at times showed an insular spirit, even some 
patriotism and a touch of imperialism that sat more 
naturally on them than Internationalism. At times they 
seemed to find their “ brother ” socialists of other 
nations difficult to put up with, and the “ brotherhood 
of man ” a phrase easier to discuss than to live up to ; 
so that when Stambulinski, the peasant premier of Bul- 
garia, came aboard the train they found little in common 
with him. 

We passed through northern Italy and there at Milan 
we saw red revolution lashing out to get control, bringing 
with it ruin, disorganization and despair. 

We raced through France and, having passed the time 
in pleasant conversation, we came once more to England. 



CHAPTER XV 


England in the Post-War Reaction 

A t a casual glance the change in England from 
the early days of the Armistice appeared small, 
but it was in reality fundamental. The tide 
of the war spirit, of patriotism, of pulsing enthusiasm, 
that had carried men laughing gaily to almost certain 
death and women to the heights of self-denial, was gone. 
The people now rode wildly on a tide of a new pros- 
perity. Money was abundant and freely spent. There 
was a great rush of trade. That life was a gamble and 
uncertain and to be enjoyed to-day while it existed, 
that the future was so problematic that saving was mere 
folly, were relics of the War. They tinged life in every 
stratum of society. Old classes were dead or dying, 
and new classes arising. The new conditions of life 
were not yet understood nor assimilated. In places 
there was irritation that automatically life had not fallen 
back into the placid grooves of pre-war days. 

I was determined to find out here at the centre the 
causes and the reasons that had led to the follies in 
Turkey. I probed in vain, for no one knew. It seemed 
to be imagined that the policies and decisions were 
made in Constantinople, whereas in Constantinople 

131 



132 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


it was imagined that they were made in London, 

I had hardly arrived, however, before my leave was 
cancelled and I was once more employed in the War 
OfHce, From this vantage-point the causes of British 
error in the Near East became apparent. As in Con- 
stantinople the High Commission, so in London the 
Foreign Office, was short-circuited. Foreign policy was 
exclusively directed by Mr. Lloyd George from No. lo 
Downing Street and by the Cabinet Secretariat who 
lived across the other side of Whitehall. 

The strength of the British Constitution has lain in 
its permanent officials who coming from one class 
inherit traditions of offices and policies, who are unmoved 
by failure or success and without brilliance or marked 
originality keep in the stern straight channel of common 
sense the stream of politicians who come into office 
above them. Under the system now in vogue the per- 
manent officials were ignored ; the traditional policies 
were neglected ; old knowledge was consigned to dusty 
shelves ; and the enthusiasms of the minute, not viewed 
on the background of codified experience, led the politi- 
cians into the bypaths of adventures. The control of 
Parliament in foreign affairs existed no more, for, at 
least publicly, the Foreign Secretary accepted the position. 

The attitude of Lord Curzon at this date was hard 
to explain. He was a man of great ability and long 
experience. His brains were exceptional, but, as the 
muscles of a stout man are overlaid with fat, so they 
were overlaid with an enormous pomposity. His tact- 
lessness had become a proverb, and his remarks were 
quoted in every capital of Europe not for their wit, 



ENGLAND IN THE POST-WAR REACTION 133 

but for their stupendous conceit. His manners with his 
staff and friends, with the Houses of Parliament, and 
with Foreign Ministers raised constant irritation, and 
had an evil effect. He had many enemies, and he 
attracted no friends. In 1920 he was fully aware of 
the errors that Mr. Lloyd George was making in the 
Near East, and yet he allowed the Foreign Office to 
be short-circuited and silenced, and his own views to 
be ignored ; while errors were made that endangered 
the peace of the world and the prosperity of future 
generations. Rumour has it, and it may well be true, 
that Mr. Lloyd George remarked, “ Behold, I am 
honoured with a gilded doormat.” 

But the cardinal cause of failure lay far deeper in 
the loosening of grip in England. The treaty with 
Turkey had been postponed partly to deal with the 
more pressing problems of Germany and partly to allow 
the United States to take up the promises made by 
President Wilson. The war spirit that might have held 
the Allies together and enforced a clear-cut peace was 
dead, and after it had come disappointment at the result 
of the War. The reaction was in full swing and there 
was a determination among all classes to avoid at all 
costs any further use of force, to reduce the fighting 
services and the striking power of the Empire, to cut 
expenses and avoid all commitments. 

For the minute the things of the spirit strove with 
the things of the world ; but down the wind of the 
reaction, against the spiritual stimulus of the war, came 
a great boom in Materialism. For one minute on the 
nth of November at the burial of the Unknown Warrior 



134 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


the country saw vividly the tremendous price it had 
paid. For days the stream of mourners stretched many 
miles in every direction from Whitehall and these were 
but a small part of those who had suffered loss. The 
Great Empire remembered its agony and mourned its 
splendid youth destroyed, its vitality sapped and its 
prosperity in ruins. And then a priest in North London 
shouted openly the half-formed fear which had grown 
in every mind, that all this had been a waste, and a 
folly and a poor delusion. Great love, self-sacrifice and 
patriotism had inspired men to the great struggle. Now 
the rage of the nations, as they had flown at each other, 
seemed but a vulgar self-seeking brawl for trade and 
material advantages. 

The temporary prosperity had a sense of unreality, 
and behind it was danger from Labour grown restive, 
even over-boisterous. There were foreign propaganda 
and ** Red Flag ” ideas. The ordinary British work- 
man appeared soimd and steady, but many of his leaders 
wished to rush him into revolution. The coal-miners 
struck on the i6th of October on such poor grounds, 
that it appeared that their leaders hoped to hurry them 
into direct action.” Two days later a demonstration 
of xmemployed came to Downing Street, and the foreign 
element in the crowd turned it into a serious riot. I 
watched the original advance up Downing Street, and 
it was good-tempered. I went with the crowd as it 
looted in the Strand, and the men round me were the 
scum of the slums. They were foreign-bred Jews and 
the evil beasts of other coimtries who afflict Whitechapel 
with their presence, and they snarled and walked like 



ENGLAND IN THE POST-WAR REACTION 135 

unkempt wild beasts. They were the foreign element 
of unrest that brought with it ideas of red revolution 
as catching and as deadly as the plague. The railways 
and the transport services threatened to strike. The 
ordinary worker had little interest in so doing. I visited 
many stations and talked with the men, and, as else- 
where, the extremists were forcing the pace, running 
them oS their feet in the hope of a burst of revolution. 

Ireland was a sheet of flame ; a trouble close, insistent, 
threatening and eating out the heart of and paralysing 
the Empire. 

Suddenly in November without warning, almost as 
it were in a night, the prosperity of trade was gone. 
A severe slump set in, and trading concerns of all sorts 
went bankrupt in numbers. 

Whitehall made a fitting setting for these events. 
One day it was a surging mass of angry, resentful rioters 
incited by foreigners. Within a month it was crowded 
with a vast, reverent concourse bareheaded, mourning 
the patriotic dead in a silence so profound that the 
sound of the pigeons on the arch of the National Gallery 
came clear and soothing. Within ten days it was full 
of unemployed, marching with crude banners, demand- 
ing work ; and within three weeks again it was full of 
the massed bands of the Guards as they brought home, 
with all the splendour of the Army, the nine oflacers 
murdered in Dublin. It illustrated the instability and 
the pressing problems at hand. It explained why the 
British Government had little time or energy for the 
Near East. The average man cared not at all what 
happened to Turkey, and those interested and affected 



136 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

had not realized the birth of New Turkey nor that there 
was growing a Power able to resist the Allies. 

But from various quarters the Turks found sym- 
pathizers. There were a number of experts and persons 
genuinely of the belief that, as a great Mohammedan 
power, it was our duty to be friendly to Turkey. With 
them were a mass of Indian officials and officers brought 
up in the traditions of the Punjaub and the Moslem 
element of the Indian Army and administrative services 
in India, With these stood Mr. Montagu, the Secretary 
of State for India. 

It was a curious anomaly that any Western Power 
should have had such a man in office. From the minute, 
in 1919, when he shepherded the Indian delegation 
before the Peace Conference, it was obvious that this 
was an Asiatic fighting for Asia against the European. 
In a stray minute I wandered down the main corridor 
of the India Office. Its walls are covered with the 
pictures of the Secretaries of State for India. There 
were there great men with great names. Their cast of 
face showed their breeding and their essential European 
character. Alone among them sneered down the photo- 
graph of Mr. Montagu, with a face Asiatic and Eastern. 

He became the champion of the Khalifate and of 
the Turks as the protectors of the Khalif. He became 
the mouthpiece of the combine of Moslems and Hindus 
of India that used the bogey of Pan-Islam and the 
Khalifate for their own political ends. He spent much 
of his time pathetically complaining that no one would 
listen to him or pay attention to his warnings. 

Over all Mr. Lloyd George rode rough-shod till Lord 



ENGLAND IN THE POST-WAR REACTION 137 

Curzon and the Foreign Office came to a state of sus- 
pended animation, and Mr. Montagu and the India 
Office to that of suspended irritation. 

Mr. Lloyd George had grown almost abnormal in 
his belief in and his respect for the Greeks. He was 
not au courant with the problems of the Near East. 
He had little knowledge of the value of its various peoples. 
As a politician much of his strength lay in the Non- 
conformist vote, and this was solidly against the Turks. 
He had behind him the tradition of Gladstone. He 
realized the vital importance of the Mediterranean as 
a high-road of the Empire and that both Italy and 
France desired to make it their own specially preserved 
lake. He saw that a Greater Greece was an aid to 
British policy. He had stumbled on the undoubted 
fact that for many a long day Greek and British interests 
in the Mediterranean must go hand in hand. It is said 
that he had also stumbled on to the knowledge that 
there had been an Ancient Greece with its great poets 
and philosophers and that this had inspired his Welsh 
soul. This may or may not be so, for, as M. Clemenceau 
once said, “ I know that Mr. Lloyd George can read, 
but I do not know if he ever does.’’ 

Under the influence of the charm of M. Venizelos 
he saw in a brilliant picture a Greek Empire reviving 
in Europe and Anatolia the splendours of its ancestors, 
keeping open the Straits for Europe, holding back the 
Asiatic and infidel Turk, and maintaining the Mediter- 
ranean high-road for the British Empire. He recog- 
nized that if Greece should grow obstreperous, she was 
open to rapid punishment by a sea-power. 



138 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

Without hesitation he had thrown in all his weight 
on the Greek side. He ignored the experts who warned 
him of failure and even M.Venizelos, who in late 1919 
told him that Greece could not stand too great a strain. 
When the facts became obvious, he still refused to see 
them. The vision that he had seen was magnificent, 
but it was false in the most vital essentials. The Greeks 
did not possess the art of ruling. They had neither 
the ability nor the resources to carry out the great role 
assigned to them. Mr. Lloyd George chose a weapon 
that broke in his hand. 

As a warning came three severe blows. As the result 
of a fantastic combination of incidents King Alexander 
died on the 25th of October, 1920, from the effects 
of the bite of a monkey. The Greeks recalled King 
Constantine and his German wife, and ejected M. 
Venizelos. The French had long since ceased to aid 
the Greeks and were actively helping the Turks. They 
seized this opportunity to repudiate officially their 
support of Greece. 

The Bolsheviks defeated the armies of General Wran- 
gel, and so chased out of Southern Russia the last of 
the anti-revolutionary forces. Mustapha Kemal and 
the Bolsheviks formed an alliance and portioned out 
Armenia between them. 

The ejection of M. Venizelos from Greece and the 
defeat of General Wrangel were due to a common 
cause. In both cases the Allies had interfered in the 
private quarrels of other states, and by their interference 
ensured the success of their enemies and the failure 
of their proteges. They had not so much backed the 



ENGLAND IN THE POST-WAR REACTION 139 

wrong horse as backed one horse, and automatically it 
had become the wrong one. 

The ejection of M. Venizelos amazed many people, 
but it was supremely natural. The Greeks as a whole 
were fond of their king, and they had shown little desire 
to enter the Great War on the side of the Allies. Veni- 
zelos throughout 1916 fought for the Allies. He worked 
against his king and the general sentiment of the Greeks. 
He never understood the Greeks. They hated him, for 
he was a Cretan. On the 25th of June, 1917, he marched 
into Athens with a French force at his back and carried 
the country into the war. The allied victory gave him 
great prestige, but no popularity. 

Throughout the next few years he was a dictator. 
The prisons were full of his political opponents. He 
was autocratic. He refused the Greeks the liberty to 
argue and talk politics, which, in Athens, meant that he 
was sitting on the safety-valve. In his republican ideas 
he was in opposition to the general sentiment, and his 
power rested on foreign bayonets, on foreign money and 
on the foreign influence which he had introduced into 
an internal quarrel. He was ejected, and, when he was 
called back in the hour of defeat, it was because the 
Greeks were convinced that without foreign help they 
were lost. 

These events in Greece and the Turkish-Bolshevik 
alliance should have been somewhat of a warning, but 
they were ignored. It is a curious commentary on the 
role of a politician. The backing of M. Venizelos and 
Greece was a fatal error of judgment that involved great 
losses. Had a soldier or sailor made such an error, he 



140 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


would have been relieved of his command, but Mr. 
Lloyd George continued to thrive. 

Without grasping the realities or considering the 
potentialities of the position, steps were taken to put 
the terms of the Treaty of Sevres into action, and I 
found myself detailed to assist in forming the necessary 
organization and plans. Commissions of all sorts, as 
in the treaty, were plotted out. Pay and equipment 
and their knotty details were argued over and laid down. 
From every direction came a rush of officers of all ranks 
looking for good jobs. The idea was abroad that Tur- 
key was to be, as Egypt under Kitchener, a breeding- 
place for future field-marshals, under the rising young 
General, Sir Charles Harington. Generals and colonels 
and subalterns were fitted into the personnel of the 
Commissions. The Treasury advanced some money to 
be recovered in due course from the Turks. Hand- 
books and maps and diagrams were printed ; and yet 
it was all empty paper-work and stupid vapouring. 
Without force the Treaty of Sevres could not be carried 
out. The Allies were unable to employ force. The 
Greeks were incompetent and now unwilling to do their 
dirty work. England had ceased to think in World 
terms. She thought now in terms of England. 

Having been transferred to General Head-Quarters 
Allied Forces of Occupation in Turkey, I proceeded 
with a party of officers early in January 1921, and we 
took with us all the carefully prepared instructions for 
the carrying out of the Treaty of Sevres. 



CHAPTER XVI 


The Greco-Turkish War. The First Greek 
Advance, 1921 

I FOUND Constantinople changed but little. Inside 
it had been flooded by a new wave of refugees. 
The Bolsheviks had broken the lines dug across 
the Perekop Isthmus, chased Wrangel and his army 
out of the Crimea and taken Sevastopol. Wrangel’s 
army with its wives and families and a host of refugees 
had crowded into ships and arrived off Constantinople 
on the 1 6th of November. For a while they had been 
forbidden to land, and, packed tight together, with no 
food, a prey to swift diseases, there they had lain at 
anchor a floating city of the dying. Then tbey had 
come ashore in tens of thousands and swamped and over- 
crowded the city, replete already with refugees of every 
nationality. To be a refugee had become a trade and a 
permanent profession. 

Constantinople and the Allies were protected from 
harm and cut off from the rest of the world by a wall of 
Greek troops. On every side there were Greeks. They 
held all the Asiatic shore from the Black Sea to the 
Marmora and down past Chanak to the Mediterranean. 
In Europe they were down the Gallipoli Peninsula and 

141 



142 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


astride of Thrace. As I came in I was vetted ’’ by 
their controls. All letters and telegrams going out had 
to be handled by their censors. 

In the streets of the city there were but few Turks 
to be seen, and their women either remained indoors or 
had gone to Anatolia with the men to help in the fight. 
The little sound news that came through showed that 
the Nationalists were working at top pressure, that 
they were acting with an unexpected vigour and efiiciency , 
and that the chance of the Treaty of Sfevres being enforced, 
or of any settlement being made, was as distant as ever. 
On the 30th of January, 1921, Mustapha Kemal pro- 
claimed that the Sublime Porte had ceased to rule, and 
that the Government of Turkey was now in Angora. 

Despite these unfavourable circumstances, the pre- 
parations to put the Treaty of Sevres into force were 
continued and the commissions prepared to get to 
work. Among other things the military authorities 
woke to the realization that in the Constantinople area 
there were enormous dumps of war material, and that 
even these had been neglected and poorly guarded. 

I found myself detailed to this duty and set to work 
to photograph the depots and sites, and to count and 
catalogue the unholy jumble of stores, ammunition, 
rifles and guns of all sorts. It was obvious that there 
had been, and still was, extensive pillaging of all stores 
and ammunition of value. It was difficult to prevent 
it. All departments of the Constantinople Government 
were working full time to help Angora, and the Allied 
control but touched the fringe of their activities. The 
French authorities gave them all facilities to ship away 



THE GRECO-TURKISH WAR 


H3 

the war material. The guards on nearly all the depots 
were Turks, and so automatically Nationalists, and glad 
to help to get away munitions to fight the accursed 
Greeks. 

In the great depot on the Golden Horn the matter 
reached a climax. With my Turkish colleague I put 
seals of wax, as used in Turkey, on the great iron doors, 
but invariably at the next visit the seals were gone. 
The guards were arrested. The junior officers were 
sent to jail. At last the senior in charge was to be 
tried. A commission for the Ministry of War could 
throw no light on the subject nor give any help. 

In despair I replaced the seals and prepared to hide 
and watch for myself. The doors of the sheds looked 
on to a large yard stacked with shells for heavy guns 
and ammunition-waggons and much rubbish. It had 
grown thick with yoimg grass and at the other side 
came down to a long quay on the Golden Horn. I 
reached my hiding-place with some difficulty. The 
sentries were more alert than I had expected. I stood 
to be shot if seen slinking about, or, worse still, made 
to look ridiculous. During the evening the sentries 
smoked and lounged and at sunset when they were 
changed, and while the muezzins were calling to prayer, 
half a dozen goats were shut into the yard. In the half- 
light I saw a ridiculous he-goat with a tufted beard 
deliberately walk up to the doors and eat off each of my 
seals in turn and then return to nibble grass. It is a 
strange country, this Turkey. As often in a club the 
wildest stories of the recognized liar are strictly and 
disconcertingly true, so here many a wild impossibility 



144 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


is the fact. For myself, being thin-skinned, I held my 
peace and affixed seals, not of wax, but of lead, and 
indigestible. 

Still, goats or no goats, wherever there was material of 
value, it was consistently removed and shipped away to 
Anatolia, and our allies assisted the Turks to avoid 
the controls. The agents employed by General Head- 
Quarters throve on their reports on this gun-running. 
It was such an open secret and so easily come by, that 
they reported correctly and drew their pay in ease. They 
had long since combined into a close corporation and 
had quite an efficient staff for manufacturing and co- 
ordinating information, rarely correct but always sale- 
able. From a dozen ‘‘independent’’ sources would 
come exact details of a plot or a raid and then the agents 
at General Head-Quarters who had invented the idea 
would be sent in hot haste to investigate. It was a 
whole new trade. It grew rapidly with wide rami- 
fications and financial possibilities ; for the Turks had 
paid their agents only by results. 

My assistants on the depots were a few British and a 
number of Turks. Brain-power, education and, above 
all, imagination have much to do with fear, and as 
these Turks had little of the former they had likewise 
little fear. They smoked cigarettes placidly in powder 
factories. They dumped coal and shells and boxes of 
tri-nitro-toluene together, and then would break up a 
few old ammunition boxes and light a fire to cook and 
warm themselves in the lee of the dump, and this in a 
thickly populated suburb of the city where the houses 
were of wood. They handled without emotion explo- 




GENDARMERIE BATTALION COMMANDER AND SECTION COMMANDERS 
ON CASTLE STEPS AT THE MOUTH OF THE BOSPHORUS 



THE GRECO-TURKISH WAR 


H5 

sives which should have been kept locked up and in 
water and which under the circumstances ought to have 
blown them sky-high. They dropped shells about, 
sometimes with their thin delicate German fuses set, 
and marched off solidly to get another load. They were 
disconcerting people with whom to work on a cold morning. 

By May of 1921 this work was finished, and I pro- 
ceeded to Chanak on intelligence duty. The situation 
in Anatolia had by now taken on a more ugly character. 
In February a conference of the Allies with the Turks 
and Greeks had been held in London. It had broken 
up in March without result. King Constantine was in 
a fix. Tactically the line he held, as the result of M. 
Venizelos’ agreement with the Allies, was unsound. 
His own position needed a rousing victory, and Greece 
could not continue to stand indefinitely the strain of 
her adventure in Anatolia. No great distance ahead, and 
running across his front, was the Anatolian railway. 

On the 23rd of March the Greeks advanced, with the 
intention of taking Afion-Klara-Hissar and Eski-Shehir, 
getting control of the railway and from there driving 
straight at Angora and so bringing the Turks to their 
knees and finishing the War. In this they received 
no support from the Allies. They were advised not to 
persist. They were not sufficiently prepared. The old 
war-tried officers of the Venizelist regime had been ejected 
for political reasons, and untried and often inefficient 
royalists had been put in their places. The Greeks failed 
to reach their first objective and in the middle of April 
they retired back to the old line. 

Systematically, cruelly and under orders the Greeks 

L 



146 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


now set out to devastate, with the accompaniment of 
murder and rape of children and burning of houses, 
the Moslem villages within their control. They strained 
every nerve to prepare for a new offensive. They 
shipped over guns and food, and called fresh recruits 
and reservists to the colours. They refused all attempts 
at Allied mediation and pinned their hopes on a decisive 
military victory. 

As a result, acting under orders from their Govern- 
ments, the Allied High Commissioners, on the 15th of 
May, declared that there was now in existence a new 
Greco-Turkish War, and that in this they were strictly 
neutral. They declared that Constantinople and an 
area round it were to be treated as a neutral zone. They 
politely washed their hands of the Greeks, whom they 
had used, and left them and the Turks to fight out their 
own quarrel as they liked, provided that they kept out 
of the neutral zone and did not annoy them. The 
organized atrocities of the Greeks produced a natural 
reprisal, and the Turks set to work to wipe out all Greeks 
in the areas in their power. 

Round Chanak these things showed themselves. 
Beyond the neutral zone were a sprinkling of regular 
Hellenic troops from Greece but the rest were the local 
j Ottoman Greeks armed and formed into companies. 
They were inefiicient, nervous and cowardly. In time 
of stress or strain they invariably failed the Hellenic 
troops. They intensified the bitterness of the conflict, 
for they were hideously cruel in committing atrocities, 
and they revenged themselves horribly on their Turkish 
neighboiurs. Their pent-up hatred of the centuries was 



THE GRECO-TURKISH WAR 


H7 


given free play ; and yet they were terrified of the Turks. 
In London and New York ladies and missionaries in 
drawing-rooms continued unwittingly to honour these 
foul monsters. 


§ 

One late May evening I came down the road that 
made the neutral frontier by the town of Bigha. There 
was news of a fight. From a hill-top in our area I 
could see a running battle in a valley close below me. 
The Greeks from Bigha had marched out to sack and 
bum a village, and, as they returned, the Turks from 
a village in the neutral area had slipped across and 
caught them. The Greeks broke at once. They had 
the terror of the Turk in them, and in twos and threes 
scattered and ran for home like rabbits. In the town 
of Bigha there was terror. Men in Greek uniform were 
taking cover behind any door or comer in fantastic 
fear. The streets were empty and the doors barred, 
except for a few old befezed Turks who sat by the cafes 
and drew placidly at their water-pipes. When I reached 
the Turkish village within our area, it was still and 
quiet. The courteous headman denied all knowledge 
of a fight and said that perhaps brigands were involved, 
but out of the comer of my eye I saw the men with 
their rifles slipping home between the houses. In the 
sacked village the mosque and the houses were in smoking 
ruins and flat with the ground and the corpses of little 
children and old men were in the ditches. It was a 
terrible war of massacre of neighbours The area was 
all on edge, and as we went home down the road in 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


148 

the dark I sang and whistled in cold fear, that nervous 
watchers should make no mistake as to who we were. 

All this area, from here to Smyrna and all the sea- 
board, had in ancient days been a rich fertile land. 
It had supplied the com and the minerals of the Ancient 
World and it had teemed with luxurious cities. Now 
it was empty, except for a few poor scattered villages. 
Touring I came at last to the village of Marmeris that 
lies on the headland above the Narrows, where the 
current is rapid and the Straits are but a mile broad. 

It was the fast of Ramazan ; but the Circassian head- 
man gave me good food cooked by his fasting servants 
and served by his younger brothers, as was his custom. 
To pass his long hungry day he took me down to the 
headland. We sat in an ancient graveyard where the 
tombs of slabs of stone stood out on every side. Down 
to us came the valleys and hills and on these had been 
the ancient city of 30,000 souls, with its streets and 
houses and baths. Once perhaps in a generation, he 
told me, a ploughman would find a diamond or a ruby 
dropped in the bygone centuries in the third valley, for 
there had been the street of the jewellers. Now the 
valleys were full of long grass and wild flowers and trees 
swa3ring in the sea breeze and the warm lazy sxm. Over 
it dl had come the blight of Ottoman rule. The sun 
and die fertile soil and the blue rich sea was the same, 
but on the shore below us were one stone house and 
twenty broken shanties which had replaced the great 
town. Continued misrule had destroyed it and Nature 
had in due course spread a fresh carpet over the scar. 
So was it with all this land. 



CHAPTER XVII 

Skutari and the Turkish Gendarmerie 

T he Allied authorities in Constantinople were 
preparing to take some action on the Treaty 
of Sevres. The officers detailed to the com- 
missions had arrived and, having seen the sights of 
Stambul, were now impatient for work. The treaty 
was still in existence only on paper. Lieutenant-General 
Sir Charles Harington had taken over as the General 
Officer Commanding the Allied Forces of Occupation 
in Turkey ; a title which though it had a fine sound 
was humorous and Gilbertian, for his jurisdiction ran 
over a handful of British troops and the few square 
miles of the neutral zone, and his Allied Command ” 
consisted in his right to try to persuade his unwilling 
French and Italian colleagues to act with him. 

The Greeks were preparing for their second great 
offensive. They required every man. They were, more- 
over, not so trusting and amenable as in the days of 
Venizelos. They were unwilling to continue to do the 
dirty work of the Allies. Hitherto they had held the 
Ismidt Peninsula with the sole object of covering Con- 
stantinople and from here they now, by agreement 
with the Allies, began to withdraw. As they retired 

149 



150 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

they burned, without justification, the Moslem villages 
on their road. 

They were replaced for the minute by a handful of 
British and Turkish cavalry to keep order, but a gendarme 
battalion was to be formed to take over the whole area, 
under the Constantinople Government, and this was 
to be supervised by British officers. I was recalled and 
posted to this battalion, with my head-quarters in the 
town of Skutari. 


§ 

From the pier at Beshik Tash, that lay below the 
Sultan’s summer palace, I took a rowing boat to cross 
to Skutari. I left while the night mist still lay on the 
water and before the sun was up. The shores of the 
Bosphorus were lined with white villas and palaces 
and mosques and walled gardens, mostly in disrepair. 
They rarely repair in this country, but allow their houses 
to fall into ruins and then rebuild or abandon them. 
Strong solid houses, that will last from generation to 
generation, do not exist. For the Christians to build 
such would be folly, and only call attention to their 
wealth. Among the Moslems there is still the nomad 
instinct of their ancestors and the sentiment of the 
sage who said that life was but a cranky bridge and that 
the man who built a strong house on it and dreamt of 
it lasting was a fool and a scoffer against the Divine. 

As we rowed, a school of black shining porpoises went 
gambolling and diving past us. A flight of strange birds, 
just skimming over the water, raced by. They are said 
never to settle, but to wander continuously up and down 



THE TURKISH GENDARMERIE 


looking for something, and to be the “ souls of lost 
women. In these parts they are very numerous. 
On the marble terrace of a bumt-out palace fishermen 
were dragging in long brown nets and singing in chorus 
as they heaved together. From the south blew up 
the damp Lodost wind that threw the waters into little 
waves and turned the surface of the sea white. 

We pulled up stream to round the Greek battleship, 
the Avarqffy which, with her sister ship the Kilkis^ lay 
here at anchor. A sentry looked down at us placidly 
and I wondered that these ships should lie here in 
safety. The allies had declared this to be a neutral 
zone and these were neutral waters, and in all justice these 
combatant ships, engaged on active service, should not 
have been allowed here. In Pera was a Greek military 
mission, and a Greek hospital with an armed guard, 
and in the streets were Greek soldiers with rifles. Here, 
in the heart of the Turkish capital, Greek ships used 
the Bosphorus as their base and raided from here along 
the Black Sea coast and down the Marmora to bombard 
Turkish villages. The Italians and French had no 
S3nnpathy with this, and the British point of view was 
indefensible. 

But I wondered even more that the Turks had not 
made at least some attempt to sink the ships. With 
a little organization it would have been easy, for they 
were very vulnerable. While Turkey fought, gasping 
and struggling against heavy odds for life and exis- 
tence, such a blow would have been as valuable as a 
great land victory. Yet not one attempt was made, and 
when the Turkish Chief of the Staff at the Admiralty 



152 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


was asked why he had not tried, he sighed and said that 
the British would be angry. 

I came to Skutari and landed at the little pier where 
the porters loimge and smoke. They looked like snails, 
for on their backs they carry always a leather hump, 
and a porter without a hump would be no porter. They 
are mostly Kurds and wild fierce men, godless and 
imdisciplined. They are the instruments of every 
massacre and plot. Some politician had combined them 
into a corporation, and they were for ever being unruly 
and lawless. They growled and glared unpleasantly 
to see me come ashore, for they do not like Christians. 

Skutari is quaint and old. Its streets are as steep 
as those of Pera, and twist up narrow, intricate passages 
where the roadway is of cobbles and the pavements 
are narrow and rain-water is shot off the roofs on to 
the passer-by. It is a town of twisting slums and then 
open spaces and parks, of large-sized hovels and tiny 
wooden shops where the shopman sits all day with a 
few bags of peas or a bundle ofbed-coverlets, and appears 
to sell nothing, and yet contentedly at dusk puts up 
his wooden shutter and goes to the mosque to pray. 

It was all Turk, Fires and troubles had routed 
out the few Christians who used to live there. It was a 
primitive, fanatical, antiquated place still living in the 
seventeenth century. In space it was but twenty minutes 
by boat from Europe. In the centuries it was 300 years 
away. 

They gave me a house by a soft scented park where 
the women came to find their lovers. It looked away 
down the Marmora and over Stambul to Thrace. My 



THE TURKISH GENDARMERIE 


153 


ofEce was in the Government buildings, which had been 
started once on a fine design but never finished ; and 
even the finished bits now leaked in the rain, and let 
the wind in through gaps in the floors and windows. 

The Governor was a nominee of the Sultan. He 
was a fat, lazy, flabby, nervous, incapable man who 
cared nothing for his work, was ashamed to talk Turkish 
with me, and stuck to his mongrel French, and was 
querulous and pathetic, because his pay was in arrears. 
He was t5q)ical of a great change. When Mustapha 
Kemal set out in 1919 on his adventure he was a rebel. 
Now the Sultan was of little value and the men who 
remained with him were flabby inefficients such as this 
man. All good Turks had long since gone to Angora. 
This Governor was kept in place, because the British 
General had found him submissive and had requested 
the High Commission to see that he was retained. The 
British still obstinately buried their heads in the sand, 
and refused to see the new power that was growing in 
Anatolia. 

For me it was a new life. In Turkey, whatever 
one does, politics creep in. The fall of a Grand Vizier 
means a change right down all the ranks to the woman 
who cleans the office of the clerks in some obscure 
district. Still, as the day’s work, politics ceased for 
me. They but added the salt of interest to a life of 
adventure. As a soldier I was almost free of restraint, 
for I was alone and there were no regulations to cover 
each action. 

I lived with the Turks, not now as a subordinate or 
prisoner nor on the lofty eminence of an Embassy, 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


IS4 

but as an equal. I saw with their eyes and heard with 
their ears and lived their lives. I looked back at my 
own people from a new position, and I experienced 
some disappointment. It was as when one has lived 
long in trenches and they have come to be something 
large and spacious, and suddenly one sees from a sap- 
head, that they are to the enemy no more than cheap 
mounds such as rabbits scratch. 

I had watched British life in India. Within it was 
a dusty edition of suburbia and externally it was like 
isolated islands in seas of teeming native life. So here 
in Turkey the British were isolated. They never knew 
the people nor their ideas nor their ways. They adopted 
a superior air of patronage and sneered and, if possible, 
kicked all those who wore fezes. They were ignorant 
of the most rudimentary facts, and whoever tried to 
learn these was looked on as a lost man and “ gone 
native,” Their superiority did not seem so obvious 
from outside. In official life they suffered from the 
acute modem disease of “ paper.” They waded into 
paper caring little for live personalities or live facts, but 
tmsted in written words and reports. They submerged 
themselves in paper till lost beneath it. If they then 
saw a fact, it was as distorted as the moon through 
water to a diver in the sea. 

» There were eight British gendarmerie supervising 
officers with separate areas, and I was given half the 
Ismidt Peninsula with some 600 square miles in all. 
We were given a chance to see Turkish official life 
from within, as no Englishman had seen it before. I 
quickly found that the Turkish and the British officials 



THE TURKISH GENDARMERIE 


15s 


viewed their positions from different angles. In the 
East an official position is an acquisition to be used. It 
means money and comfort and the sitting under green 
trees and the people to be used as servants. Even 
if only temporary, it is a thing to be enjoyed and to 
be turned to profit. To the British it means a respon- 
sibility. Inspired by this and the sense of power and 
the instinct to organize and control the affairs of others, 
they will put away the good things of life and its com- 
fort. They will sit long hours on office-stools in some 
dingy hole. White with fever, they will work through 
torrid heat in deserts beyond civilization. The two 
conceptions are poles apart, and as widely different 
as the characters of Turk and British. 

I foimd my area in a sad state. Politics and war 
had tom it into pieces. At the Armistice the British 
had come and brought with them the ideas of the liber- 
ation of Christian minorities. The local Christians 
believing in these had rallied to them and been freely 
used. As the British had withdrawn, the Nationalist 
Turks had overrun the area and taken revenge on the 
Christians, and then the Hellenic Greeks had come 
and the Ottoman Greeks had taken even more brutal 
revenge. Now the hills were full of brigands and 
criminals and the villages lay depopulated and many 
burnt, and, even from within the towns, the brigands 
carried off the merchants and held them to ransom. 
Between the Christians and the Moslems was a great 
gulf of murder and incendiarism and rape and blood- 
shed. 

; We set to work under considerable difficulties, i The 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


X56 

British authorities viewed the experiment with suspicion. 
There was little sign of pay or equipment being supplied. 
All good men had gone to Anatolia and the recruits 
who came in were a few old gendarmes and a weedy 
set of loafers of little value. Until we had received a 
few refugees and some prisoners-of-war back from 
Egypt we were not able to get to work. 

Gradually we got on to our feet. It was a life full 
of tremendous fun. I loved each minute of it. There 
was the sifting of evidence and the making of plans and 
cunning devices to outwit the criminals. There was the 
detective work in the twisted streets of ancient towns 
and the long marches under the open night sky, as I 
watched the stars sweep up and over the heavens and 
die under the sunrise. There was the hunting on horse- 
back of brigands, a himting that makes tame the chasing 
of the fox. There was the spice of danger and the urge 
of power, and there was independence that gave a taste 
to life. 

I worked alone without interpreters, for I hated them 
all, as individuals and as a class. I twitched at their 
pidgin English, and the airs that they gave themselves 
and their eastern foreign faces looking out under British 
military caps. I foimd them at the bottom of every 
misunderstanding. I hated them because they used 
our good name to their profit and because they befouled 
our honour. I preferred to struggle on alone. 

For the minute the brigands reigned. They had 
little fear of capture by the British cavalry which had been 
sent to replace the Greeks until we were ready. They 
even became hilarious at the attempts of the men on 



THE TURKISH GENDARMERIE 157 

great English horses or in heavy crashing boots, who 
pursued them through the woods, as they slid silently 
forward on their skin shoes. As well expect a buffalo 
to tread on a dog. They would arrange with the intelli- 
gence agents and come and talk and drink with their 
innocent pursuers, who without knowledge of the lan- 
guage, customs or the land were as men blind. And 
so they had grown over-confident and insolent. 



CHAPTER XVIII 


Brigand Hunting : The Capture of Yanni 

E ach week came news of robberies and murder 
and villages raided and men held to ransom, but 
we could do nothing, for we were not ready. 
The authorities grew impatient, and when news came 
of a raid on the Jewish settlement village of Yahoudi 
Chiflik on the last day of July, we decided to declare 
war on the brigands, though we were but half prepared. 

Of exact details of the raid we had none. The small 
boy who came secretly with the news could not say 
who sent him. Before dawn on the ist of August we 
set out to investigate. The smell of heat lay heavy in 
the air and the house was still grey with the shadow 
of night as I came down my rickety stairs. From the 
Yeni Mosque by the pier the muezzin was callmg to 
prayer. 

A golden quarter of the moon, half toppling out of 
die sky, was sinking low over Stambul. For a minute it 
threw the minarets and mosques into black relief against 
a sky of fathomless blue and then dipped into the grey 
morning mist. We looked down on the park with its 
tiny ponds and dilapidated bandstand to the Golden 
Horn, where they were closing Galata Bridge. The 

158 



THE CAPTURE OF YANNI 


159 

first movements of the waking city caime up like the live 
murmur of a distant sea. In the gardens a bird fluffed 
its feathers and called. A cool breeze brought up the 
scent of flowers. The flies were moving lazily and the 
horses fidgeted and champed on their bits as we swung 
into the saddle. 

We clattered out over the cobbled streets with my 
mare leading, and behind her fifteen squeaking excited 
stallions who kicked and plunged. We twisted up the 
narrow alley- ways, roofed over with crossed vines and 
filled with the smoke from newly lighted charcoal 
braziers, and between the tiny shanties of shops, until 
we came to the great cemetery of Skutari. We picked our 
way between jumbled ruins of headstones set at all 
angles, and over patches of vivid green grass, where 
black rocks bulged out here and there. We rode under 
the cypress trees whose trunks were white and their 
shadows jet black in the grey light before dawn. They 
made the silence even more silent and the dreariness of 
the graves more dreary. Here the Moslem faithful are 
buried twenty deep and close by the road they lie deeper 
— for even when dead, men dread to be forgotten. There 
was neglect and ruin. It was all cold and ragged and 
as mouldy as Death. A raven croaked. The pariah 
dogs were rummaging among the bones and snarling at 
each other. Waiting for death that comes to them but 
slowly, the lepers crept among the graves. 

We came out to I^ikli and the hills of Chamlidje, 
full of gardens and flowers and white chatelets, where 
the Pashas live when the summer grows dusty. I smelt 
the good heather. A spring of clear water came gurgling. 



i6o 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


kicking and "bubbling from the hill-side, and its laughter 
was full of life clean, fresh and pure. 

Beyond that we rode into great rolling plains as the 
sun began to glow hot and fiery over the Anatolian 
moimtains and the snows on Olympus turned rose at 
the touch of day. The moving breeze kicked up light 
clouds of purple dust behind the first wood carts. The 
carters called to their animals and urged them forward 
and salaamed to us with a hang-dog manner that seemed 
to me to be that of guilty men until I learnt that it was 
fear that was in their eyes. We followed the dusty 
road, where my mare stumbled in the holes and ruts, 
and across the barren hill ; and so at last towards evening 
we came to the Village of Jews. 

That there had been a raid and that they had been 
robbed and beaten, there was no doubt. There was a 
young woman with her arms and breasts like red steps, 
where she had been beaten with the sharp edge of knives. 
But no word of evidence could we get. The people were 
craven and afraid. At last they pushed forward one 
evil, dirty brute, who had been a camp follower in South 
Africa. His English was a running stream of filthy 
oaths and indecencies, but he dared talk because no one 
understood him ; and from him I learnt that among the 
brigands was one Yanni, the son-in-law of Christo, a 
householder in the Greek village of Bakal Keuy. 

We halted for the night and bit by bit from hints and 
whispers we learned that it was the renowned band of 
Greeks imder the brigands Zaffiri, Pavli and Karoglan 
who had made the raid. That was a night of torment. 
No slum in the East have I ever found so foul as this 





THE CAPTURE OF YANNI ' i6i 

village of Russian Jews. The myriad flies, that by the 
day covered the ceilings and walls crawled over the 
food and fed at the sore lids of the children’s eyes, crept 
even in the dark and buzzed at each move I made. The 
offal had for years been thrown out of the window^s and 
doors and there it lay to stink in clotted filth, till it had 
fouled all the air and the water too. From every crack 
and mattress a thousand hungry parasites appeared. 

We were away before dawn had shown in the east and 
so came to Bakal Keuy, which was a village of Ottoman 
Greeks. We sat under a great lime tree. In front of 
us was the church and the village square and behind 
us the little shop to which the men came to drink their 
morning coffee. While we talked we ate a luxurious 
breakfast of fresh eggs in oil mixed with tail fat and 
bread and bitter cheese. The head man and the elders 
and a queer little old priest sat round us. They were 
quiet, hospitable, courteous folk, but they denied all 
knowledge of Yanni or of any brigands at all and said 
that all was well. And yet I knew that last month the 
village had been raided and a man killed, 

I was at a loss. I could not bridge the gap. As I 
begged them for news a well-set-up sturdy man in a 
neat blue suit with a reefer coat strolled leisurely from 
the little caf^ and sat down with us. He had an easy 
air of bravado. He talked boldly as one who had been 
in authority. His truculence angered me, and suddenly 
drawing a bow at a venture I covered him with my 
revolver and arrested him. The gendarmes took him 
away to cross-question him in their own terrible way, 
and so brought back news that this was Anastas a member 

M 



i 62 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


of the band, a well-known robber who had been arrested 
last year by the British and had broken prison, and that 
Yanni had left that morning to hide in the hills above 
the village of Kurt Dogmush. 

While they saddled the horses, I turned in a fury on 
the elders. They sat silent and ashamed, until the 
priest who had been a refugee from Russia to Anatolia, 
and from there in turn had fled before the Nationalists, 
plucked up courage and said : 

“ Effendi, I too lied and would lie again. You come 
for a day and are gone. The government changes 
often ; but the brigands are always with us.” 

Suddenly, as in a flash of light in the dark, I saw it 
standing out clear and insistent — ^the dreadful fear that 
dominated their lives. Wherever I travelled, I saw 
stark fear. Fear lay in the eyes of every man in this 
country. It was a dull silent fear that would not set a 
man running, but the terror of waiting for a blow from 
a blind side. The people were afraid of the brigands 
who raided them and cut them with knives if they did 
not pay. They were afraid of the gendarmes and police 
who beat them and imprisoned them. They were afraid 
of their neighbours. Greek and Armenian watched 
Turk, and Turk watched Greek and Armenian. No 
man knew what political changes or what new evil 
to-morrow might bring, and the people waited on 
tip-toe. 

We hurried out of the shade into the burning sun at 
a canter in hot pursuit, and the dust came up in a great 
cloud behind us as each stallion bucked and strained 
to be near my mare. We hurried across the empty 



THE CAPTURE OF YANNI 163 

country over steep stone hills and across dry river beds 
where the heat played in long shivering waves. Suddenly 
as we topped a rise below us, half a mile away, we saw a 
man swinging along, and, in defiance of the law, across 
his back he carried a rifle. The sound of his noisy 
singing came up to us, and then he turned and saw us 
and ran for the hills and the low scrub forest above, in 
which we could not follow him on horses. Without a 
word, at full gallop we set at him. Helter-skelter without 
formation or plan we raced hell-for-leather over the 
holes and gullies, scrambled down the steep hills, tore 
along a level bit on soft earth where the mare gamely 
took a jump that left the gendarmes for the minute 
behind. In front, with the fear of real death close on 
him, twisting and making use of every narrow way, ran 
our quarry. Up a narrow gully he raced where the mare 
failed to get her footing and the gendarmes’ ponies 
scrambled by her ; and they were on the man before 
he could unsling his rifle. Faithfully at my heel was 
Hadji Ramazan, my sergeant, not because he wished to 
be, but because his stallion had decided to stay with my 
desirable mare. He had squealed at the whip and kicked 
at the spur, but stuck obstinately beside her ; and she, 
being no slut, now planted her heels into his ribs as a 
warning. 

Sidki the Liar brought the man to me with pride. 
It was no doubt that this was Yanni, the son-in-law of 
Christo, and quickly they covered him with a cloak 
and hid his face that no one should know whom we had 
caught. It was Sidki the Liar, a typical sharp town- 
bred Turk, bom of an Armenian mother and brought 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


164 

up in the covered bazaar of Stambul behind the Ministry 
of War, who had thought of this precaution. Now with 
his dark restless eyes he looked for applause, set his 
fez at a rakish angle over his hair, which he kept over- 
long, and began to expatiate on his success as a brigand- 
hunter. Then, looking at himself in a pocket mirror, 
he gave his moustache an extra fierce upward twist, and, 
with his spurs jingling on the heels of his well-polished 
riding boots, he strode off with a taking air of bravado. 
Sidki, though quite irreligious, had an immense contempt 
for Christians, He used them to supplement his pay 
with bribes. Sometimes, at a fee, he helped them to 
run contraband tobacco. He was a vain man, a lover 
of show, a fluent and inefficient liar, and he stole my 
horses’ com. 

We rode on rapidly to the village ofKurtDogmush and 
there Halil Fehmi Effendi, as soon as he heard that we 
had come, sent his grooms, who held our stirrups, while 
we dismounted and took the horses to the stables. Fehmi 
Effendi owned the village and the fields for many miles 
round and flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, and he 
lived, as his fathers had lived before him, as a squire 
with a liberal hand. He met us at his door. He killed 
a sheep, and his wives basted it and stuffed it with rice 
and nuts and spices that made a hunger-inciting mess. 
His retainers brought it in, and Fehmi pulled back his 
sleeve, while we squatted expectant round the low brass 
table set on the floor, and then he shredded off sufficient 
of the well-cooked meat, and sent the rest out to the 
gendarmes. 

The meal was no sluggish affair, wherein conversation 



THE CAPTUEE OF YANNI 165 

and food pass a pleasant hour. Dish foEowed dish 
rapidly and was eaten quickly and in silence, except for 
suctional sounds as of many vacuum cleaners. There 
were eggs in oil and boiled chickens and cheese and 
salads and honey and long slabs of hot bread and many 
other dishes. Then they brought us water in a ewer 
and towels to wash our hands and we rubbed our teeth 
clean with the fingers. Replete to stupefaction I crawled 
back on to the settee that ran roimd the walls, stretched 
myself with caution, and, lying back at a rajah’s ease, 
allowed a servant to hand and light me a cigarette. 

We were late away and we took a horse from the 
village to bring Yanni, but we travelled fast, for the 
horses had been fed on good barley and were hard to 
hold. Somewhere the men had found a Turkish woman’s 
clothes, and now Yanni was veiled and covered in great 
shapeless folds of coarse black cloth. I called him 
Fatmeh Hanum, and even old Hadji Ramazan, the 
sergeant in charge of the mounted gendarmes, though 
the joke was not over-much to his liking, wrinkled up 
his stem weather-beaten face and smiled. 

“ Hadji,” I called, as he cursed Yanni and flicked the 
village pony to keep him up. He drove his rough 
stallion up beside me and, with his chin set square, his 
mouth firm, and his eyes deep dark and steady, he 
waited for what I shotild say. 

“ Hadji ! are you not ashamed to talk with a strange 
woman like this Fatmeh Hanum ? ” 

“ Effendi,” he replied in his dignified stately way, 
“ this is no hussy, for she keeps her face covered ” ; and 
all down the line of gendarmes ran a ripple of lau^ter. 



i66 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


The moon was up, roimd and clear, as we came to 
the pass that runs between the twin breasts of the 
mountains of Chakal Dagh. The mountain path ran 
steep and narrow in the shadow where the hills towered 
up on the right and to the left dropped sheer two hundred 
feet or more into a gorge. As the leading gendarmes 
crossed the crest out into the white light a volley of 
rifle shots ran out and the bullets came with a murderous 
thud into the cliff-side. I saw the men fall. Their 
horses turned and galloped back on us. There was 
confusion and noise and the sound of men running and 
vague figures and quick panic and contagious fear. 

I crept forward in the black shadow, while Hadji held 
my mare. Beyond me in the light one gendarme stirred 
a little and groaned. Across the narrow gorge, with its 
unclimbable precipitous sides, came voices talking and 
a woman^s laugh, shrill and vulgar. Then in the coarse 
accent of the Ottoman Greek, that rasps all the soft 
music out of Turkish, she called filth and abuse on the 
Turks and bade the gendarmes go home, for now the 
English ruled in Turkey and the Greeks were free. 
And I in my broken Turkish called back and cried 
that I was the English captain, and her men bade her 
be quiet. As I dared out into the white light in my 
“ topee ” I heard the rolling of stones and whisperings 
as they crept away, and far down below me a stream 
laughed and played with itself in the loneliness of the 
rocks. 

We collected the men, and Yanni, hidden in his 
disguise, shivered with fear lest his Greek friends should 
find him, and so we came to the great forest of Alemdar. 



THE CAPTURE OF YANNI 167 

I lodged in the empty summer palace of one of the 
Whittalls, who were Englishmen and the merchant 
princes of Turkey and had grown so great and so numer- 
ous that, as it was said, “ They were a family that had 
narrowly avoided becoming a nation. 

I could not sleep. I got up and walked out in the 
light of the great moon. The forest lay quiet. Now 
and again a hidden wind would sigh through the trees 
and carry up an unknown scent that was a lure.^ Far 
away a jackal called. Without warning a nightingale 
close at hand caught its breath and burst into liquid song, 
and a dozen more in the forest answered, and from 
pools a thousand frogs woke the night and the tree 
crickets called on twenty different notes. Then they 
died to sleep and left the forest quiet except for the 
but half-heard ground noises, and the wonder of the 
night was supreme. 

I walked a little way. From a house where the 
gendarmes slept came the sound of steady blows, not 
fierce or cruel but steady and methodical and brutal. 
They were beating Yanni, as they beat all prisoners for 
information, and his tormented gasps came sighing 
and droning across the still night like the winter s wind 
round an old house. My hair stiffened in sudden anger. 
And then I remembered the woman of the Village of 
Jews with her arms a red staircase of wounds and the 
gendarme as he stirred on the head of the pass and 
groaned in agony ; and I went home to sleep. 



CHAPTER XIX 


Brigand Hunting : The Raid on Bakal Keuy 

F rom the mfonnation obtained from Yarnii it 
seemed probable that the band would sleep the 
next night at Bakal Keuy, for it was their habit 
to follow for safety close on the heels of their pursuers. 
So we rested that day in the cool of the forest, and sent 
word for one hundred and fifty infantry to march from 
Skutari and meet us on the road at an old post house. 

Alemdar was a mixed village, in which Armenians 
predominated. The villagers had long since taken all 
their valuables and furniture to the towns and were ready 
to fly for safety at any minute. Some of them had been 
^ven rifles to protect themselves, and these were led 
by one Dipovan, a drunken, useless, swashbuckling liar 
of a fellow, who was afraid of his own shadow, if he wore 
a fez. He was the official agent of the British nailitaiy 
authorities. He was an Armenian, and an evil-looking, 
small, vicious brute with red bloodshot eyes, who inter- 
fered with the wives of his neighbours. He gave 
evidence against Moslem brigands, of whom he was in 
terror, and worked hand in glove with the Christian 
criminals. As they relied on dishonest interpreters, so 
the British military authorities trusted in, gave power 

168 



THE RAID ON BAKAL KEUY 169 

to and subsidized such evil beasts as Dipovan ; and so 
they besmirched our good name. 

The villagers desired to feast us, and we walked 
through the deep forest of fine beeches and oaks> straight 
and slim and seventy foot high, until we came to a 
spring that had cut its way through black rocks down 
in a shady valley. Some sultan had built it up with 
marble, making a basin and calling it Tash Delen or the 
“ Rock Cutter.’’ The water-carriers came to it to 
draw the exquisite water and sold it in the thirsty streets 
of Stambul. 

There we lay in the shade on beds of leaves, with the 
peasants ranged round us. Many of the types of the 
Ottoman peasantry were there. There was the Head- 
man, a great heavy dark Armenian, with a hoarse laugh 
and a mouth full of black teeth, brutal faced and boister- 
ous. He had been chief huntsman to Sultan Abdul 
Hamid. His lean, rat-faced brother, who made bread 
and sold groceries at a good profit in the village, was 
there. They were both great drinkers of alcohol. 
There were Greek and Armenian women, with their 
husbands, chattering like starlings and wearing yards of 
pleated bloomer trousers, little waistcoats over their 
blouses and coloured handkerchiefs tied round their 
masses of glorious hair. Many of them were good- 
looking women, but they grow old and ugly quickly. 
Spring here is short, and then comes summer with its- 
buming suns that patches the land and air ; and in such 
a climate women and flowers alike grow quickly, come 
to their prime early, and then shrivel and pass. 

There were Turks with great belts round their middles 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


170 

full of pockets and layers in which they carried all their 
trifles. On one side sat the Lazzes, blue-eyed, light- 
haired men from the south coast of the Black Sea, where 
it comes full in the force of the gales from the Crimea, 
They talked in a sing-song, melodious and droning, each 
sentence drawn out into an Oh ! ” and then carried 
forward to the next. They were good sturdy stuff, 
these peasants. The land, the air and the water were 
good ; and yet a gang of half-caste Levantine rulers away 
in Stambul had ruined all. They had murdered the 
industrious Greek and Armenian and poured out to 
waste the results of his labour. They had decimated 
the lazy, lovable Turks. 

Already the sun threw long shadows through the 
trees. Below the spring, a nightingale, unable to wait 
for night, burst into song. Far away a jackal cried, and 
red-legged partridges called to each other on the hills. 
The people were excited and full of good cheer and 
singing. For a few hours the dread fear was off them, 
and they were safe and might walk and sleep in safety 
because my escort and I were there. 

We crept away silently that night and across the hills, 
till we came to the rendezvous. Yanni, still dressed as 
a woman, was to be our guide and we followed his plans. 
With heather to our waists, we staggered across the open 
country, where my mare stumbled and slipped and 
snorted and blew with fear at the steep hills. The pale 
moon threw a faint purple mist across the world. It 
died to a circle of soft white in the early grey of dawn, 
as we came to the village. Yanni showed a genius for 
this work, and, as dawn crept up the sky, I saw that 




GREEK VILLAGERS SUSPECTED OF BRIGAN’DAGE OUTSIDE A 
TYPICAL VILLAGE HOUSE 






THE RAID ON BAKAL KEUY 


171 

we were all round the village and every gully and exit 
that might lead up to it was closed with gendarmes. 

We sat and waited for the light. I left the horses in 
the valley and climbed a hill to watch. Suddenly 
outside our ring I saw a man creeping through a field 
of maize and then another and yet another. Then they 
burst into full view miming hard. I blew the alarm. 
The orders were to catch and, if possible, not to kill. In 
a garden below the horses were being fed. Before they 
were bridled up the men were 500 yards away among 
the gullies at the foot of the great mountain of Keish 
Dagh that leans over the village. Then came the 
gendarmes riding hard and firing from the saddle as 
they rode, and every gendarme on the hills let fly and 
the air was full of the crack and drone of bullets. 

Sidki was leading on his white stallion. With my 
glasses I saw the men separate. Two ran up the hills 
and one come doubling back down a gully, and as he 
passed he fired at Sidki and man and horse went down, 
with the horse hit. After him came Ali and Hussein. 
The horses and the man ran neck and neck. The man 
with great strides and slipping between the boulders, 
round which the horses had to detour, running at an 
incredible pace, drew away. I caught up a rifle and 
raced to intercept him. My heavy field boots weighed 
like lead. For a second I saw him clearly and then he 
was hidden in a ravine ; and as he went over the sky- 
line a quarter of a mile away I fired and saw the dust 
kick up beside him, and he was gone. 

It was Karaoglan, an immense gorilla of a man with 
long arms and a tremendous chest and dark and hand- 



172 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


some to look at. Months later he quarrelled with his 
mistress and she betrayed him to us. 

The gendarmes had caught the other two runners. 
They were Christo and Nikola, members of the band. 
We combed out the houses one by one, and found a 
rifle or two, and three more brigands. I talked to the 
headman. He threw out his hands in despair, and I 
thought that I understood his position ; but in the next 
month the Greeks discovered that Yanni was our helper, 
and they boycotted and starved his wife and children, 
till they became outcasts, and Yanni, who had been 
released, disappeared and could not be found. All the 
evidence showed that this headman and the little priest 
had instigated the villagers to murder him. 

Satisfied with our captures, we made a permanent 
gendarme post in the village — and this at the request of 
the headman and elders — and prepared to take the road 
home. I waited impatiently for the horses to come. 
As they did not appear I walked down to their stables. 
From a distance I heard the voices of Sidki and Hadji 
raised in high argument. Behind the stable I found a 
crowd and Hadji’s stallion, which had a neck as thick 
as its girth, rolling in the agony of colic. As they watched, 
one would call Allah ! Allah ! ” and the crowd 
would draw breath through their teeth as they sighed, 
Sidki wished to dose the horse with brandy, but Hadji 
held that it was forbidden and accursed, and he quoted 
the Holy Laws to give force to his views ; for though 
he could not read or write the old man knew by heart 
great pieces of the Koran and the Sheriat, 

Hadji,” I called, and he came to me, dignified and 



THE RAID ON BAKAL KEUY 


173 


courteous. He was an Arab bom in Bagdad and a 
devout Moslem, who neither drank alcohol nor smoked, 
kept strictly the fast of Ramazan, and had twice, as a 
poor pilgrim, done the Haj to Mecca. 

“ Hadji, will you give him this ? I asked, offering 
him a horse-pill. But he was still hot from his argu- 
ment, and his gnarled swarthy face was fierce with the 
fanaticism in him, that would carry him to murder. 

“ No, no, Effendi, I know not what is in it. There 
may be in it wine or pig-flesh,” he replied. 

But Hadji,” I asked, if the doctors order it, would 
you not yourself take medicine ? ” 

“ The doctors,” he flared up, “ they are neither sheik 
nor hodja. They read French-Mench and then talk 
fon ! fon ! fon ! and fon ! again 1 I know the medicines 
of the Koran, which are all-sufficing.” 

Days later Hadji had a headache. It was so severe 
that he swayed in the saddle half blind as he rode. All 
his pride and self-sufficiency, as a follower of the Prophet, 
was gone. At the night-halt he took my aspirin, and 
was comforted, and henceforth carried a few tabloids in 
a slip of paper. He was a good, faithful old man, for, 
though he was months in arrears of pay and his coat was 
all patches and his trousers threadbare and his toes 
came through his riding-boots, he would neither steal 
nor take bribes and he obeyed orders quietly and doggedly 
and implicitly, and told no lies. 

They were nothing but great foolish children, these 
gendarmes of mine. They were thoughtless, illogical, 
happy and as lovable as cMdren, and as cruel ; except 
for here and there some town-bred rascal like Sidki. 



174 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


We took the steep path that runs over the mountain 
of Keish Dagh and clambered up between the stones, 
until we came close below the crest. Here it is believed 
that the priests at the coming of the Turks hid the 
church-plate that they had collected, and over it rolled 
a great stone. 

We halted for a breather, and to look at the tremendous 
view. Beneath us the valleys full of ripening com 
twisted down between the scarred hills — hills covered 
with heather and scmb and rock and the dead asphodel 
flowers. For the rest, it was rolling waste and granite 
hills with great red woimds across their sides and their 
tops standing out ragged, like stale bread tom ; or 
perhaps it was the place where the moon was rent away 
from the earth. Valleys and hills dropped down to the 
sea-shore, and the plain lay spread out like a map with 
white roads and squared fields. As far as the eye could 
see the shore was fringed with white villages and red- 
roofed houses and gardens rich with trees — ^villages 
and gardens built by Christians and inhabited by 
Christians who crowded on to the shore for protection 
against the wildness of the interior. Far away to the 
north was the Alemdar forest and the distant glint of 
the Black Sea. The Bosphoms wound down, a blue 
streak between steep hills. Pera and Stambul stretched 
away into the haze of the Thracian plains. The Marmora 
was deep and blue, as far away as the Dardanelles and 
back past us round the islands of the Princes and up to 
Ismidt. While beyond it the mountains of Anatolia 
towered into the blue sky, now pale with heat. 

And so we clambered down the steep path through 



THE RAID ON BAKAL KEUY 


175 


the fortified lines and barbed wire that the British had 
made to defend Constantinople before the Greeks came, 
and in the shadow of evening, at the hour of evening 
prayer, we clattered into Skutari. 



CHAPTER XX 


As a Gendarme Supervising OiEcer 

W EEK after week I travelled on horseback up 
and down the country from the placid blue 
Marmora to the trouWesome Black Sea. I, 
like the other gendarmerie control officers in their own 
areas, was following the instinct of our ancestors. We 
were given certain limited powers to supervise the 
gendarmes and to prevent malpractices. Very rapidly 
we made for ourselves administrative powers. We 
guided the collection of taxes. We saw to the admin- 
istration of justice and the work of the forest guardians 
and the headmen of the villages. We built the roads 
and helped the people. It was a leap back to the instinct 
of the great administrators in India and all across the 
East, who had built new structures from ancient ruins, 
who had brought justice and peace to where there had 
been only injustice and brutality, and who had persuaded 
once ferffie lands, which had become deserts, to produce 
again com and food. This they had done by super- 
imposing over the local administrations European ideas, 
European ideals and European control. 

In our small areas we succeeded. As we destroyed 
the brigandage, the villagers gained confidence and 

176 



AS A GENDARME SUPERVISING OFFICER 177 

returned to till their fields. It was impossible to reach 
all the abuses in the administration of justice, but we 
broke down the gross injustices. Fear ceased to be the 
dominant attitude and order came slowly back out from 
disorder. We were doing in our small areas what the 
Treaty of Sevres, if it could be enforced, planned to do 
for all Anatolia. 

But it was a leap back to an old system . The Great War 
that had been fought to end all wars, and the Graat Peace 
that had been signed to end all peace, had made the system 
archaic. England had lost, as well as her strength, her 
instinct to rule. It had belonged to one class that, 
poor but well educated, had filled the army and navy 
and the civil services. It was the class that had made 
and ruled the Empire, and it had been the schoolmaster 
as well as the ruler of the East. It was gone, killed by 
the Great War and crushed out by economic conditions. 
Neither the rich nor the titled aristocrats nor Labour 
had this instinct nor the inspiration, and England cared 
no more for these things. In the East was a revolt 
against Europe and its dominance and its persistent 
assumption of superiority. Based on the treaty of 
August 1919, the old system was tried in Persia. It 
was the foundation of the administration of Irak. It 
was the keynote of the Treaty of Sevres. One by one 
each was swept into the dust-bin as rubbish and dried 
meatless bones. Our work marked the final trial and 
the passing of the old system and the refusal of the 
Asiatic to accept good government at the hands of 
European schoolmasters. 

Gradually the gendarmes destroyed the brigand bands 

N 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


178 

and made the villages and roads safe. The small and 
irregular bands were rapidly eliminated, but those that 
were large and permanent were difficult to lay by the 
heels. The eggs, from which they had hatched, had 
been laid in the unpleasant manure heap of local politics 
and Greek helped Greek and Turk helped Turk. To 
the north was a Moslem band under one Tahir the Lazz 
who had taken to the hills to fight the Greek troops and 
so had gained the halo of a patriot. To the south, 
where the Greek villages aboimded, Zaffiri and Pavli 
and Karaoglan still roamed the country-side and made 
spasmodic raids, and then went to ground among their 
Greek friends. 

I lived close with the people and I began to realize how 
they looked on us. The Christians had been roused by the 
promises of the Allied leaders at the Armistice, and still 
failed to understand that these were not to be fulfilled. 

The Turks without exception hated us. They are a 
proud people, and were prouder than ever in defeat. 
The British air of superiority drove them to fury, but, 
forced to keep it pent up, they raged inwardly, and 
their hatred became as full of bitter poison as an unlanced 
boil. They were incommunicative people with no 
power of self-expression nor of propaganda in their own 
interests, and British officials failed to realize that they 
were a ruling people and not Hindus or negroes to be 
treated as subjects. It was only a few years since they 
had possessed a great empire. 

‘‘ It may be,” said one during an argument, that 
the British make one prosperous, but they do not respect 
one’s dignity,” and he spat expressively. 



AS A GENDARME SUPERVISING OFFICER 179 

The stupidity of many senior officers would have been 
amusing, if it had not been tragic. One Colonel came 
inspecting and grew very savage and caustic, because 
the gendarmes had not spotless buttons on their tattered 
uniforms. In the course of one day he tried to tell 
some excellent troops that he would not be ashamed to 
command them, and explained nicely to the Governor 
that he fully realized that his pay was in arrears and 
therefore he recognized that he and his staff, like all 
Turkish officials, had to be dishonest. He treated the 
headmen of the villages as if they were his grooms, and 
he treated his grooms like dogs. And this Colonel was 
no exception among senior officers. It is a vast pity 
that each regiment, like kings in the olden days, has 
no professional fool who might by his frank irony force 
senior officers to keep a sense of the value of their own 
importance and their own unimportance. 

As I lived on friendly terms with them, the Turks 
allowed me the doubtful privilege of seeing behind 
their minds. I heard the scurrilous things they said 
and believed of our women. They disliked our methods. 
They did not believe in either our intentions or our 
promises. As they go through life with closed eyes, so 
here the British officials imagined that if they brought 
riches and peace and justice to the people they would 
be beloved. They never realized the outstanding fact 
that the people of Turkey, as those of Irak and Persia, 
prefer the most scandalous Moslem government to the 
very best that is foreign and Christian. 



i8o 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


§ 

"‘We have worked enough,” said Husein Husni, the 
Captain and the senior ofEcer in my area. “ Let us 
amuse ourselves to-night. Hilmi the Advocate will lend 
us his house. I have persuaded Blanche the Dancer to 
come and a man has gone to hire a dozen of the Sultan’s 
best players from the palace band.” 

Husein Husni was a good companion for amusement. 
Fat, so that except on state occasions the high collar of 
his uniform and his belt had to stand open, with rough 
tumbled hair and his fez stuck well back on his head, 
he had that quality so often possessed by little fat men 
that wheresoever he went the air became full of rib- 
tickling laughter. The tales of his frequent amours 
were the jests of the town, and, when his name was 
mentioned, even the dullest crowd began to laugh and 
be gay. 

Yet to judge Husein Husni as a fat and pleasant 
philanderer would be luijust. He hated the routine of 
office life, but at the first news of brigands he Was up 
and out with a gun across his shoulders and skin shoes 
to replace his everyday foppish French-cut boots. Away 
over the hills he would outwalk the youngest. He had 
a flair for catching brigands and criminals. He was a 
bom leader, able to get willing work out of unpaid men. 
He took no bribes and was as proud as Lucifer. 

After nightfall we drove in a broken-down carriage 
to the little house that stood in a concealed square 
looking on to a courtyard of an old mosque. With us 
came the new Governor of the district, Sami Bey, fault- 
lessly dressed in the full regalia of an Ottoman high 



AS A GENDARME SUPERVISING OFFICER i8i 


official with frock-coat, patent-leather shoes and new 
red fez complete. He belonged to the new order, was 
a Nationalist by sentiment, had been a deputy in the 
Parliament, a governor of a province under the Angora 
administration, quarrelled with Mustapha Kemal and 
come to Constantinople for safety. He had the drive 
of a Manchester business man, working long hours and 
making his decisions quickly. He had reorganized the 
district, harried the lazy officials who had slouched along 
under the flabby old toad who had been the Sultanas 
nominee, and he was rapidly producing order and 
prosperity. He belied nearly all the current conceptions 
of an Ottoman official. 

Hilmi the advocate — advocate ’’ was a euphemism 
for general odd-job dirty-work agent — opened the door 
to us with deep humility and we trooped across the stone 
kitchen, up die stairs and into a large room. Along 
one wall and across the windows was a cushioned settee. 
There were straight-backed chairs and little tables set 
with small glasses and bottles of rakhiy a heady edition 
of absinthe flavoured with aniseed, and with them plates 
of dried fish, and olives and beans and many hors d^omvres 
in oil. The walls were bare and white-washed. The 
musicians trooped in and salaamed and squatted by the 
wall. We smoked and drank and nibbled at the 
“ mezzars,^^ as the Turks call these hors oeuvres ^ until 
suddenly without warning a musician struck up, and 
the rest joined in or left off as they felt inclined. 

Weird sounds were piled on weird sounds that seem 
to a western ear to be neither tones nor semi-tones nor 
yet quarter-tones, but to fail to catch any note. The 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


i8a 

hand drums beat incessantly. The clarinets squealed 
like bagpipes and the violins were scraped and sawed 
not in the melody but as a vamp accompaniment. Then 
one and then another of the singers would burst into 
the agony of an ear-splitting wail, hang on to a note till 
he would appear to be near suffocation, and then with a 
quaver and a run strike another and so gradually strain 
his way through the hundred verses of some passionate 
love song. 

Guests slipped in respectfully and salaamed and took 
seats. Among them came a wizened old merchant who 
owned a dozen grocer shops and was rich. He was so 
stupidly enamoured of Blanche that he pursued her 
continually and she bled the old fool of his money. A 
little hodja followed him half apologetically, but, seeing 
the governor, plucked up courage and accepted the rdkhi 
offered to him. Soon he became excited and his tongue 
rolled in indecencies. 

The air in the room grew thick with tobacco smoke 
and drink-laden breath. The music grew wilder. 
Husni and the governor were flicking their fingers to 
the time and swaying their bodies and beating with their 
feet and now and again would wail with the singers and 
cry “ Allah ! Allah ! ” as if they were tom by the agony 
of love. 

And I sat silent, for I could not understand. All this 
wild confusion of noises meant nothing to me. I could 
not enter into the excitement nor feel the agony. When 
suddenly the door opened and with a musical little 
whoop came Blanche the Dancer. 

She was a great artist. When she danced with her 



AS A GENDARME SUPERVISING OFFICER 183 

feet, her steps were as dainty as a child playing in the 
snn. She danced the wild highland dances of Anatolia 
with a sword in her hand and the guests went wild and 
beat on the floor till the room rocked, and the poor old 
fool of a merchant tried to dance too and fell down 
in a comer. Then she sang and danced a love song, 
and in her little body, her hips as pliant as young twigs 
in the wind and her long arms rippling like snakes, she 
was desire and the call of the flesh and the warmth of 
woman. The room became tense with desire. 

She was no common woman this. A Greek by birth, 
she was the darling of Stambul. Two officers had 
committed suicide for love of her. She could play on 
all the primitive passions, whether she called to their 
patriotism in a marching song, or their madness in a 
dance, or to love and lust with the look under her eyes 
that was like a heaped-up furnace, and with the sway 
of her body and the lure of her voice. I had ceased to 
be a stranger sitting alone and cold. With her art she 
had bridged the great gulf between us. For a minute 
the jarring discords were gone and I felt the soul of the 
music. Now I half imderstood. 

Across the heavy atmosphere of the room I could see 
the little hodja^ with his fez and its green turban stuck 
on the back of his shaven head, and his quaint apple- 
like face wrinkled up with laughter. 

Yahoo ! ” he called, looking eagerly at Blanche as 
she stood with her exquisite figure in a tight bodice 
silhouetted against a lamp. “ Yahoo ! we surely have 
here a ‘ stealer of oranges.’ ” 

But Blanche was talking eagerly to the old merchant 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


184 

as he sat dizzily in a chair. He had promised to sell her 
a shop and they called me as witness'; and when later 
I found that she had got it at half price I held the old fool 
to his bond for his folly. 

Then all the room began to tell scandalous stories to 
each other of their neighbours’ wives and their own 
successes ; and the drink loosened the tongue of Sami 
the Governor, so that he forgot his high rank and 
exchanged stories with Husni and both became foul- 
mouthed. The musicians caught the atmosphere and 
played again wildly and the merchant would dance, and 
fell down, and they carried him away to sleep on the 
stone floor of the kitchen. Restraint was gone and as 
Blanche danced, the room swayed and sighed and beat 
time, for now she danced with such a quality, as would 
have set a nuimery doing steps. 

Suddenly in the doorway peering through the haze of 
smoke, with a look of intense disgust on his weather- 
beaten old face, stood Hadji Ramazan. In a second the 
foolery was out of Husni, and he went out with him to 
the kitchen beyond. 

There was news, Tahir the Lazz had taken a fat 
Albanian from behind the village of Mahmud Shevket 
Pasha and the news was but two hours old. Usually 
word came days late by devious means. Izzet was a 
rich man and very fat and lame and, even if they beat 
him, the brigands could not hope to get far. 

We were away at once. I felt Blanche’s shoulder by 
me in the dark kitchen, with a whispered invitation to 
come to her and in my hand a slip of paper with an 
address. I found that I was to help a relative of hers 



AS A GENDARME SUPERVISING OFFICER 185 

who was in jail. We stepped over the sleeping merchant 
and out into the cool night, glad to be away from the 
smoke of tobacco and the stench of spilt alcohol and 
stale food in oil. Hadji had anticipated orders and the 
mounted gendarmes were saddling up. My sleepy 
groom fumbled in the dark with the mare’s bridle. 
Already, as we rode into the cool still night, the debauch 
was far behind us. 



CHAPTER XXI 


Brigand Hunting : The Death of Tahir 
The Lazz 

W E took the road that runs north along the 
Bosphorus shore. Sometimes it was broad 
and good, and then it would become a mere 
alley-way, twisting through little villages. Save for the 
clatter of hoofs, the occasional stumble of a horse on 
a loose flint and the subdued curses of its rider, we 
rode silently in the lead-coloured hours that drag slowly 
at the end of night. The villages were buried in sleep. 
At the sound of our clatter a watchman would beat on 
the stones with his heavy musical pole and another 
would reply, and they would call to each other across 
the silent black world, and say that all was well. Here 
and there a dog barked, and some cock, thinking the 
dawn was come, would crow. 

We came to the village of Beicos, which the Nationa- 
lists had raided in 1920 and from where they had fired 
on the fleet. The Embassy was a mile across the black 
water. The fleet lay at anchor below us and, as ever, 
the ships were talking to each other with sparks of light 
from the mast-heads. Turning in shore we climbed 
the steep road that clears the hills, through low scrub 

186 



THE DEATH OF TAHIR THE LAZZ 187 

forest where the gendarmes carried their rifles ready on 
the saddle, and so we came to the crest. With a last 
look back at the Bosphorus where in the clear black 
night it gleamed sable and caught the soft light of the 
myriad stars dusted across the sky, we descended and 
rode rapidly inland. 

We came to Mahmud Shevket Pasha, a Greek village 
that lay among steep hills with a river running between 
the houses and a great open square full of ancient chest- 
nut trees. The houses were empty and many in ruins. 
Only a few villagers had come back to reap the crops. 
The head man, Constanides, hobbled down to meet us 
and take us to his house. He was an old man with 
a twisted back and red bloodshot eyes that watered and 
showed the insides of the lower lids. His coat and 
trousers were of rough local weaving and his shoes were 
of heavy leather and soled with wood. As an autocrat 
he had ruled this village for many a long day and endea- 
voured to save it from disaster by steering clear of the 
rocks of politics. 

We found in the house his wife and daughters, terrified 
by the night’s brigandage. There was a son there who 
was a waiter in Pera and with his broken English, his 
xmpleasant European imitation of clothes and manners, 
his oily vulgarity and his breath full of the stench of 
garlic, he represented all that I hated in the Levan- 
tine. 

Husni had gone to collect the evidence, and while I 
sat with the headman, the old asthmatic priest of the 
village came to see us. His long beard was dirty and 
discoloured. He brought with him a young priest who 



i88 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


•was a tall, fierce fanatical fellow with a red light and a 
roving look in his eye and a nervous maimer. 

“ Three times,” said the old headman, holding out 
his hands in despair, “ three times have we left the 
village and gone down into the city for safety and now 
we must go again, for we are frightened. In the war 
the Government told us to go. They made this a centre 
of a division, and the soldiers broke the houses. Last 
year Greek brigands raped my two daughters, and the 
ravishers live still in their village and are safe. This 
year Turkish brigands have driven away all our cattle ; 
and this night they stole Izzet, the Albanian, as he 
went home do'wn the road to his farm. We never sleep. 
If a dog barks, we men rise and creep to the window 
to see the danger, while the women lie huddled on 
the floor. We smoke a cigarette under the hand, and 
watch from the window saying ‘ They come ! ’ but 
who comes we know not, and so once more, until again 
the dogs bark, we lie down.” 

“ Ah,” sighed the old priest, “ May God give us back 
the good old days of Abdul Hamid.” 

The younger man leant over towards me, oily and 
insinuating. “ We pray,” he said, “ each day in the 
church for Lloyd George and the coming of the English.” 

The Head Man looked cautiously round. There was 
fear in their eyes. 


§ 

The scouts said that the brigands had gone north 
and, as soon as horses and men were fed, we saddled 
up and were away. Looking back at the village I saw 



THE DEATH OF TAHIR THE LAZZ 189 

how, with a thousand others, it had been caught in 
the storm of the Nations and the maelstrom of Nationa- 
lism and been dashed to pieces as a poor weak wreck. 
The villagers wanted peace to collect their com and 
fruit and to sit in the cafe and talk. But, ignorant of 
the needs and the objects and the potentialities of each 
other, that oily wild young priest and his kind had joined 
hands with Lloyd George, and hundreds of thousands 
of innocent villagers had to suffer the useless pangs of 
Hell. 

We followed the Riwa river as it raced over rocks 
between the hills and then out into a broad valley full 
of hay until we came to the Black Sea, where the north 
wind had filled the river-mouth with sand and we could 
ford across. 

The brigands were not far ahead of us. They had 
gone south-east so that we left the sea-shore and made 
across the woods and towards night came to Polonnez 
Keuy. It was a village of Poles who had come as 
refugees from Russian oppression and been given this 
land by some sultan. Round us were deep woods and 
in these were the brigands. By now from every gen- 
darme post the infantry had marched and made a cordon 
round the woods, so that no bread should come through 
to those we chased. As the people saw us, they plucked 
up coinage and here and there came news that Tahir 
the Lazz and his men had passed some point at such 
and such an hour. As long as they held Izzet to ran- 
som, the brigands could not break and scatter. 

We made Polonnez Keuy our centre. Its people 
were but a poor^third-rate type that in European coun- 



TXJRKEY IN TRAVAIL 


190 

tries lives in the slums of great cities. But even they, 
with a little work and a little ingenuity, had turned 
their ground into a paradise. The fields were fenced 
and full of orchards and rich com, and the gardens 
were full of flowers. It was a lesson. It showed what, 
in skilled sympathetic hands, Anatolia might become ; 
for it bore richly even for these folk. 

We lived well, as there were chickens and ducks, as 
well as pigs that grunted and rooted round and even 
through the houses. Hadji was in despair. He wished 
to shoot all the pigs and their litters. He spat exten- 
sively at the sight of them and would not even use 
the word “ pig.” 

This led to a long argument between us, for Hadji 
had great hopes that one day he would convert me 
and, being a privileged old man, he impressed on me 
the foulness of eating pig-flesh.” And I, being in an 
argumentative mood, suggested that we should go pig- 
shooting and sell the flesh to the Christians and use 
the skins for shoes and the money to buy more food 
for the gendarmes. But Hadji would have none of it. 
He said that pig-skin must not be close to man’s flesh 
and that “ pig-money ” was accursed. And so we 
argued for many weeks, till Husein Husni called three 
hodjas to the Yeni Mosque of Skutari. There I, the 
Giaour and ‘‘ the ** Unbeliever,” and Hadji Ramazan 
the Chaoush, argued on a winter’s afternoon. But the 
hodjas being polite, and moreover being ignorant, gave 
answers that were inconclusive, except one who said 
that the eating of pig-flesh destroyed sexual jealousy 
and noade men lax and careless of their womenfolk. 



THE DEATH OF TAHIR THE LAZZ 191 

§ 

At last we located Tahir the Lazz in the hills behind 
Bozhane and so we took horse and made for the village. 

Eliaiml the Muktar^ the Headman, a typical, straight- 
set-np old Turk, met us and invited us with great dignity 
and much ceremony to sit with him under a shady 
tree by the village cafe. One by one the elders and 
householders came to talk, and as each arrived he 
salaamed in turn to each man present, sat down to rise 
again and salaam once more to all in turn in full and 
dignified humility. They were fine old aristocrats, th^e 
villagers, and Kiamil made a fitting headman. He sat 
in state against a tree-trunk. His eye was clean and 
his manner proud. His white hair under his fez was 
cropped close to the skull. High cheek-bones and an 
aquiline nose, together with a week’s growth of beard 
and a long moustache, gave him a fierce look. His 
manner of walking and speaking was almost regal. He 
wore the peasant clothes of wood-soled black shoes, 
rough woollen socks, blue trousers that came to his 
knee and had a pleated seat, a coloured collarless shirt 
buttoned at the neck and wrists. A richly embroidered 
jacket was flung round his shoulders. Roxmd his middle 
was the great belt which Turks wear and which is full 
of wonderful layers, whence come tobacco and cigarette 
papers, snuff in a metal box, matches, a knife, money 
and a hundred vital necessities of life. 

He was an enterprising old gentleman, this muktar^ 
and kept open house for brigands and gendarmes alike 
and so escaped both raids and fines. Luck had saved 
the village from Greeks’ depredations. He had known 



192 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


Tahir as a youth and I begged him to advise the brigand 
to surrender. I gave him a letter containing a pardon 
for Tahir, if within two days he would come in with 
his band and bring Izzet with him. He was not charged 
with murder, but with attacking Greek troops, collect- 
ing money and living free at the expense of the villages, 
and with the ransoming of a few people. As always, 
the actions of the Turkish brigands were mild in com- 
parison with the brutalities, murders and crimes of the 
Greeks. 

My letter was passed from hand to hand, and I waited 
at Bozhane for the result. We sat mostly by the coffee- 
house and smoked and sipped black coffee. Below us 
the green ran down to a tributary of the Riwa river. 
On the bank men were building a rough primitive sea- 
boat, such as Noah might have put together. 

They were deadly dull, these Turks. I looked at 
the circle of men facing me, as they sat in silence on 
low cane-bottomed stools without backs. They were 
devilish dull people. Fundamental differences of ideas, 
no doubt, made a gap between us. Pictures and art 
are forbidden by the Koran and the only sense of the 
artistic that the Turks, as a whole, possess is that of 
looking at beautiful scenery. Fatalism produces placidity, 
but not amusement. Beyond talking in the coffee- 
house, they have no pastimes nor sports. But above 
all the complete cutting out of women from public and 
social life produces the flatness as of living for ever in 
a men’s club. 

There was no spring and joy in the life. The houses 
were silent and blind, doors shut and windows with 



THE DEATH OF TAHIR THE LAZZ 193 

lattices. There was no calling of woman to woman 
nor laughter nor even talk, except where the children 
played on the green and the old men were courteous 
to me. Occasionally a door opened and a figure in 
black with a pitcher in its hand would come out, close 
the door quickly behind it, draw the black cloth even 
closer across its face leaving one eye to see, and pass 
us in the sunlight like a black ghost. Not a man looked, 
nor dared I, for nearly every crime committed by a 
Turk has a woman mixed in it. These were their 
women. They could neither read nor write, nor could 
they have any interests. They were the dull mothers 
of dull sons. 

I was interested to know what sort of school they 
had, for a fine imposing mosque stood half hidden 
behind some trees. They told me that there was a 
mixed school to which the girls went till they were 
seven. 

‘‘ And after that,” I asked the Muhtar ^ “ where are 
they taught ? ” 

“ They are not taught any more,” he replied. 

“ Then they cannot read or write ? ” I queried. 

“ I see no reason why they should,” he replied. 
“ Why should the women write except to send love- 
letters ? ” And all the elders and the rat-like priest with 
a green turban round his fez nodded their agreement. 
The priest began an exposition on the subject when 
the Muhtar cut in and bade him go about his business. 

The Turks have neglected their women as an educa- 
tional force, and herein lies the main cause of their 
failure. Their national characteristics have not helped 

o 



194 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


them to stave off the failure. They are lazy and passive 
and make no provision for to-morrow, but leave it for 
God to provide. They have carried their nomad habits 
into a stationary life and hence have the same lack of 
stability that is a marked characteristic of the nomad 
life of the British ruling class in India. As all the people 
of the Near East, they lack the power of sustained action. 
The ordinary humdrum routine of life has no interest 
for them ; but, as they have again and again shown in 
their history, in the moment of utter defeat and despair 
they will gird up their loins and do great things. 

And in this Islam has aided the national character. 
For Islam can raise barbarians at a bound to great 
heights and rouse the sluggard to brilliant enthusiasm, 
but it cannot sustain them. It has always meant war 
and force. It has brutalized and degraded again those 
it has raised. It has shut out from life the softening 
influence of cultured women and it has failed to create 
among its women ideals and aspirations and the ability 
to pass them to their children. 

But Islam is a great force in the lives of the Turks. 
It is intensely human and it enters into the personal 
detail of each man’s life. It decides his hygiene and 
his eating and his habits. It is full of common sense 
and rules for his health. The actions of the daily 
prayers are gymnastic exercises, that will cure an over- 
filled stomach. Because Islam is a real part of their 
lives the Moslems profess it openly and pray in public 
without embarrassment. It has been blamed for keep- 
ing women shut up and veiled and so debasing them 
to the level of anim^. The Koran contains no authority 



THE DEATH OF TAHIR THE LAZZ 195 

for the Moslem attitude to their women. It does not 
even enjoin that they shall veil their faces. Centuries 
ago in Central Asia, and its origin even then hidden 
in the mists of antiquity, there was a fear that the Devil 
could whisper in the ears of women and produce abortion, 
and so women went with their ears covered which meant 
their hair too. The fear became a superstition and died, 
but the instinct to cover their hair remained. It was 
ordered by St. Paul on Christians, that the angels might 
not be carnally minded. While many Moslems, with 
their animal jealousy, increased it to the veiling of the 
whole face. 

I looked round at the men in front of me, as I had 
looked all across Anatolia, for the “ Terrible Turk ” 
who had terrified our ancestors and set Europe by the 
ears ; for the men who had stormed at the gates of 
Vienna, had laid waste Buda-Pest, and massacred Bul- 
garians and Armenians ; for the people whose sovereign 
had treated the kings of France and England as dirt, 
and at last deigned to call them the ‘‘ Brothers of my 
Grand Vizier.” I found quiet, placid people, mild and 
gentle and excellent hosts, dignified yet courteous in 
deference. I found them dignified and courtly, but with 
the dignity of the race of rulers mixed thick with contempt 
for the ruled. 

I saw now that these were still the “ Terrible Turks.” 
They were very dull and ignorant. They had no initia- 
tive. They desire to be ruled and directed. Left alone 
to go their own way, they were lost. I have seen sheep 
in a flock bravely face a clanging tram in a crowded 
street, but a sheep alone, away from all danger, is a 



196 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

terror-stricken creature. These Turks had great mass 
bravery and discipline, but as units they were pitiable. 
Disease had done them no good. Defeat had done them 
great harm, but yet they were still, as a whole, simple, 
sturdy folk, abstemious in their habits. They followed 
custom and obeyed orders and for the rest sat in the 
sun and — I was going to say “ think ” — ^but they don’t 
even do that. 

“ Fine animals,” I said once to Colonel T. E. Law- 
rence, from Arabia. 

“ Fine vegetables,” he replied. 

They have formed, and still form, magnificent material 
for troops that must fight shoulder to shoulder. They 
form the material out of which an absolute autocracy 
can be built. 

The history of Turkey is the history of a few great 
men, and then the history of a string of bad ones. A 
few great Sultans and some Grand Viziers made the 
Empire. As soon as the Sultans failed, so the Empire 
crumbled. Whatever terrible deed or brave assault Aey 
were ordered to achieve these Turks and their ancestors 
did them in the same solid absolute way of implicit 
obedience. It was a spring day when the instructions 
to massacre came to Angora in 1916. The orders were 
to be^ at simrise on Monday and to finish at sunset 
on Wednesday. No Christian was touched till Monday. 
Then they were marched to death, clubbed over the 
head, drowned, himg and raped. Any who escaped 
were as safe on Thursday morning as if there had been 
no massacre. 

But these qualities of the Turks are those that can 



THE DEATH OF TAHIR THE LAZZ 197 

be most easily exploited, and they have been exploited. 
Their absolute obedience, due to their natural desire 
to be controlled and directed, and their blind, unreason- 
ing loyalty has placed them in the hands of their rulers 
or of any military adventurer who has had the will- 
power and brains to arrive. 

I lodged the night with Kiamil the Muktar. We 
had early in the afternoon exhausted all possible topics 
of conversation. Politics were left alone, for what sen- 
sible man would discuss politics with a stranger ? Women 
were taboo, and so also was religion. Farming was a 
possibility, but when it had been said that the com 
was good and the barley bad, it was finished. We 
talked of the air and the water of the village for some 
time, and then conversation faded away to odd remarks 
and the rolling and smoking of innumerable cigarettes. 

Supper was brought in and after we had eaten we 
belched luxuriously to show our breeding and smoked 
again. I was living the real life of a Turk, When I 
yawned they brought me in a mattress, two hard bolsters 
for pillows, and a coverlet, and left me to myself. I 
wanted to read and write but there was no table. Chairs 
were replaced by a long wooden settee fixed under the 
windows. The lamp was a little cheap affair that just 
turned darkness into gloaming. There is no place nor 
arrangement among Turks whether rich or poor for 
such things as reading. In their lives there is no going 
away alone to do these things. They talk, they smoke, 
they drink coffee and eat their meals. At times they 
pray and sometimes work, but all these things they do 
in company. 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


198 

Failing all else, I lay down to sleep. The mattress 
was full of knotty bits where the cotton had bunched 
up and needed beating out. The floor was single and 
between the planks were great crevices. Below was a 
stable and a cow-shed. The smell of manure and mud 
knee-deep came up through the cracks. A cow rattled 
its chain, as it turned or lay down to sleep, and another 
blew heavily and chewed. In anticipation I had put 
down all round me a barrage of Keating’s Powder, but 
the bugs and fleas came through it undaunted. Some- 
where in the village they were celebrating a wedding. 
The beat of hand-drums and long-drawn-out nasal voices 
just missing all keys came up with the grunts and shouts 
of people dancing. 

I slept restlessly in the early morning and was roused 
by the sound of milking in the stable below and the 
gusts of wind that blew up between the cracks in the 
floor as the stable door was opened. 

I wanted to get up and go out but each time I opened 
the door I heard the rustle of hurrying skirts and the 
whispering of women. So, perforce, I stayed where I 
was. When the sun was well up, a man brought a 
long-necked iron jug, a piece of soap and a towel and 
poured water on my hands. With this I rubbed out 
my eyes and washed my hands. For cleaning the 
back of one’s ears or one’s neck there was no arrange- 
ment. Getting up is a simple process. There are 
no Muller’s exercises, no cold bath and massage, no 
brushing of hair and teeth and soaping luxuriously. 
It takes one motion to pull on one’s trousers — ^for the 
world sleeps in all its underclothes — ^another to slip on 



THE DEATH OF TAHIR THE LAZZ 199 

one’s coat, a third to put on one’s fez, and the complete 
man is ready for his morning coffee. Later he may 
wash his face or his neck or he may not. That is optional. 
On Thursday a shave and a Turkish bath complete his 
hygiene, but they also appear to be optional. 

§ 

Tahir had sent his reply in a neat phrased letter of 
an educated man. He refused my offer, said he was 
a patriot, and would rather die than come in. So we 
prepared to get to horse and find him. They brought 
me milk, white cheese, eggs and bread, and then we 
prepared to leave. The correct phrases of coining and 
going and their replies with all the formalities of sitting 
down, getting up, smoking and asking as to health would 
fill a book, and he who knows these thoroughly, knows 
half the Turkish language, and might travel from Con- 
stantinople to Erzerum and say no more and yet live in 
comfort. 

On the village green we found a crowd, for there was 
Abdullah, the Chaoush, a member of Tahir’s band, and 
eight of his companions who were tired of being chased 
and had come to surrender and obtain the pardon I 
had promised. They brought with them (as a peace- 
offering) Izzet the Albaman, thinner but unhurt. 
Brigandage had ceased to be a pleasant game, and its 
profits were now small. 

In gratitude for his release, Izzet, who was both rich 
and miserly, gave to each of his rescuers one three- 
penny packet of tobacco. He had made them lavish 
promises and I expostulated with him, but in vain, and 



200 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


so we marked up a score against Izzet. Months later 
we went sixty strong to his farm and there by the laws 
of hospitality he had to feed us. We ate his eggs and 
chickens and drank his milk imtil he had paid a heavy 
price for his meanness to Abdullah the Brigand. 

Now with Abdullah and his men as guides we set 
out to be finished with Tahir and his band. In all 
the villages were gendarme posts so that it was hard 
for him to come by food. We took hostages from all 
Moslem villages that might help him. We sent out 
three bodies of picked men to scour through the forest 
and hills continually. Again and again we were close 
behind him, and always he escaped us. Our critics 
began to say that, while we were quick to catch Christians, 
Moslem brigands slipped easily through our limp fingers. 

I had come back to Polonnez Keuy tired and weary 
from a long trek, when Sidki burst in on me without 
ceremony and his black eyes all afire. 

“ Tahir the Lazz is dead ! ’’ he said. Sidki was 
always full of wild stories, if they could bring him any 
credit, and I was sore and irritable. 

‘‘ How do you know ? ” I asked. 

** Because,’’ he replied, “ Tewfik who was second in 
the band to Tahir is here, and with him the rest of 
the band, and he says that he shot Tahir in the hills 
above Eumerli.” 

They brought Tewfik, the son of Osman, in to me, 
for Husein Husni the Captain was still out on the 
hills. He was a small rat of a man with a stoop and 
a long bedraggled moustache, that half covered a mouth 
full of foul teeth. 





THE DEATH OF TAHIR THE LAZZ 201 


“ I shot Tahir the Lazz,” he said in reply to my 
question. 

“ It is a lie,” I bawled ; “ you come here because 
you are tired of being a brigand and a chief, and you 
would earn the reward as well” 

He threw out his hands deprecatingly. ‘‘ Your Excel- 
lency may see for yourself, for Tahir lies on the hill 
above the village of Eumerli.” 

“ Hadji,” I called, “ they say that Tahir is dead and 
Tewfik shot him.” 

“ I have heard it, Effendi,” he replied. ‘‘ It is strange 
that Moslems should shoot Moslems, when there are 
Christians to be found.” 

“ Hadji,” I continued, for he meant no insult to me 
but rather a compliment, “ warn Husein Husni, the 
Captain, and the doctor to meet me at the Village of 
the Lazzes and have all ready, for we shall march one 
hour before dawn to find Tahir the Lazz.” 

“ Inshallahy by the grace of God,” he replied, and 
I foolishly in irritation repeated : 

“ Hadji, we shall — we march before dawn,” 

and he solemnly replied : 

“ By the grace of God, Inshallahy Effendi ! ” 

We were away well up to time, and I bade Tewfik 
ride close to me and tell me his story. He told me 
how he and Tahir had taken to the hills to fight the 
Greeks, and so had been outlawed by the British and 
forced to live by brigandage. He told how the gendarmes 
had made this life impossible, and how existence had 
become precarious, “ for,” he said, ‘‘ the chase was hot 
behind us, and my soul hated this life of a wild dog. 



202 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


Then your letter came and we wished to surrender, but 
Tahir would have none of it and called us weaklings. 
Then we were hunted again, and we determined to be 
done with it. 

Yesterday in the afternoon Tahir went to the spring 
to drink and left his rifle with me,” he continued, raising 
his voice that all might hear, for he was plainly proud 
of his treachery, and I felt the gendarmes press in close 
on their horses to hear the story. 

“ Then I and Jemil took the cartridges from his rifle, 
and when he returned I spoke to him more roughly 
and said that we had all to gain and nothing to lose 
by surrender. But he cursed me for a coward and a 
traitor and declared that he would never surrender to 
be put in prison and he threatened me with his rifle. 
In his rage he had not looked to see if it was loaded. 
Then I fired all my five cartridges into him and we left 
.him dead and came down and surrendered.” 

As he finished his story I heard the gendarmes sigh 
and rein back their horses. 

We came to the Village of the Lazzes set deep in 
the forest and there found Husein Husni and the doctor 
and the brother and wife of Tahir, and, after we had 
eaten, we set out again taking them with us to identify 
the body. 

Tewfik led the way. We climbed up through the 
forest by steep little paths, where the branches beat into 
the rider’s face. We came out under pine-trees where 
the sand gave way and the pine-needles made the going 
slippery, so that the mare picked up her steps warily. 
We climbed by twisted mountain paths, over rocks, and 



THE DEATH OF TAHIR THE LAZZ 203 

through undergrowth, where we could see but a few 
yards, and the gendarmes carried their rifles ready across 
the saddle. Then we topped a sudden rise beneath 
tall trees and came into a little glade. 

Far below us mile upon mile the tree-tops extended 
down the rolling hills. The hills were scarred, weather- 
beaten and tom ; with here and there a tiny field broken 
out of their gaunt sides. Hills and valleys twisted down 
to the plain and the Sea of Marmora, which lay a rich 
deep blue in the autumn light. Its shores were fringed 
with villages of white villas with red roofs and gardens 
full of trees. The Islands of the Princes were glowing 
hotly in the evening sun. A ship from the Dardanelles 
cut her way up across the placid sea, and left a long 
trail of white behind her. Far in the background, their 
feet shrouded in mist, the Anatolian hills stood massive 
and threatening to the sky. 

Tahir the Lazz was there in the glade. The doctor 
bent over him. He called the wife to him. She lifted 
her thick veil to look, and the brother came and answered 
the doctor’s questions. Then they squatted down. The 
woman wailed softly behind her veil. The man was 
silent. The woman would have touched her husband’s 
hands, but the wolves and the jackals had found him in 
the night and made that impossible. 

In the shade farther up the hill sat Tewfik son of 
Osman with a look of pride on his face. He rolled a 
cigarette and nibbled the edge of the paper with his 
discoloured teeth before he licked and stuck it. He 
said something to Sidki who lounged beside him, and 
they laughed together, and looked at the woman with 



204 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


lust in their eyes, I felt a sense of anger at his evil 
gloating. A bird called to its mate and flitted across 
the glade. A blackbird scolded. The evening sun was 
throwing long shadows. The spring laughed with life, 
as it broke out of the hill and went gurgling down into 
the darkness of the forest. A nightingale caught its 
breath and burst into song. Lower down the gendarmes 
were feeding their horses and smoking. With a look at 
the sun to see the time and the direction, Hadji Rama- 
zan spread his little carpet and, turning towards Mecca, 
recited the evening prayer. A stallion below squealed 
with pure devilment. 

As I turned down the hill with the doctor I heard 
the men scratching a hole to hide Tahir from the flies 
and the jungle. My heart was heavy. I was startled 
by the crack of a rifle. The doctor assured me it was 
some careless mistake. In the valley Hadji caught us. 
He was leading his stallion down the steep slope, with 
his rifle slung over his shoulder. Driven by impulse, I 
put my hand on the muzzle. It was hot. Hadji looked 
at me straight with a steady eye. It bade me beware 
and not interfere in private matters. “ And Tewfik 
comes ? ” I asked. 

“ He has gone to his own, Effendim. They are digging 
a second grave,’^ he replied. 

“ He tried to escape,’’ interposed Sidki the Liar, and 
broke off as he caught the laughter in my eyes. 

We slept that night at Alemdar to the south. Next 
day we started away early for Skutari, but already the 
sun was up hot and fierce as we left the cool shade of 
the woods and crossed the rolling empty hills that lie 



THE DEATH OF TAHIR THE LAZZ 205 

behind the Bosphorus. Once there had been trees here 
also and shady oaks, but the Turks cut down all trees, 
and leave barren empty spaces in their place. Through- 
out this area there was hardly a bird or a shrub except 
round some village. 

It was sunset as we clambered up the last hill and 
over the top. The dusk was settling in the valleys and 
over the Bosphorus. From all the mosques below in 
Skutari and in the city came up the call to prayer, God 
is Great.” As we came down, the clouds glowed hot, 
where the sun had sunk behind the minarets of the 
mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent. As I slipped 
stiffly from my tired mare in the square of the gendar- 
merie barracks below us the himdred thousand lights 
of ships on the Bosphorus and of houses and streets 
began to twinkle in the dark. 



CHAPTER XXII 


The Greco-Turkish War : The Summer 
Offensive on Angora, 1921 

B etween our area and the rest of Anatolia, 

I laid down as a frontier by the Allied High 
Commissioners, was an imaginary line. It 
was a frontier only on paper. It had no guards or 
soldiers on it, because there were none to put there. 
To the Turks who lived on both sides of it it meant 
nothing, because the whole was Turkey. For the 
minute the Greeks and the Turks respected this frontier. 
They were both fully engaged with the other, and had 
no desire to be embroiled with the Allies as well. 

= Anatolia had become a vast camp. The Turks were 
straining every muscle as they organized and developed 
a fighting force. The Greeks spent April, May and 
June of 1921 shipping over guns and men and stores, 
and preparing to make their second big push, and so 
bring the war to a close. To both the combatants 
from England, France, Italy and America were shipped 
large consignments of stores, clothing, arms and ammuni- 
tion, and all that soldiers require to kill each other. 
The merchants of Allied nationalities, sometimes sub- 
sidized by their Governments, bought up surplus stocks 

206 



THE GRECO-TURKISH WAR 


207 


of war material and did good trade with the combatants. 
Here and there I was surprised to find Ottoman Greeks 
selling boots to Angora. Cynicism often lies lightly 
on men in great places. The Allied Powers, who had 
fought the Great War “ to end all war ” and who had 
formed the League of Nations, proclaimed publicly 
that, as they were neutral, their nationals were at liberty 
to supply war stores to the combatants. In these cir- 
cumstances it was a piece of cynicism almost unparalleled. 

In June the British offered to mediate, and the Greeks 
refused. They have been harshly criticized for this. 
Such criticism is unjustified. The Greeks at the insti- 
gation of the Allies had put their finger into the sausage- 
machine and slowly it ground them all through to sausage. 
They could not extract themselves without immediate 
amputation and disaster. King Constantine and his 
followers were the heirs of M. Venizelos, and the legacy 
that they had received was not one to be envied. M. 
Venizelos had calculated as the basis of his policy the 
facts that the Allies were behind him and that the Allies 
were almighty. But now they were not almighty and, 
with the exception of the British, they had become 
actively hostile. To consolidate his own position, 
King Constantine had to go forward for a great military 
victory. All the resources of Greece had been thrown 
into Anatolia and to withdraw now meant ruin, bank- 
ruptcy, dishonour and revolution. He was forced 
pi^essly to go forward in the hopes of winning a success 
out of the misty future. 

On the loth of July the Greeks advanced in their 
great summer offensive. They hurled the Turks back 



2o8 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


off the railway from Eski-Shehir and Kutahia and 
Afion-Kara-Hissar, but their strategy failed to enable 
them to catch and destroy the Turkish main armies 
which, being very mobile, slipped away. The Turks 
made a coimter-attack and failed and began to retreat. 

On the 14th of August in the torrid heat that eats up 
the land of Anatolia, the Greeks moved all their troops 
in a great concentrated advance on Angora. They 
pushed the Turks in front of them until they reached 
the Sakkaria river. This was the last obstacle between 
them and the Nationalist capital. There across the 
river they fought a tremendous battle where the issue 
was constantly in doubt. Both sides fought with a 
fierce courage. The percentage of casualties was very 
high. Neither side had a moral superiority over the 
other, for the Greeks despised the Turks, and the Turks 
sneered at the Greeks as their old subjects. Both were 
full of the venom of an hereditary hatred. As a whole 
it appeared that, in contradiction to previous experience, 
the Greek soldier surpassed the Turk. In the matter of 
staffs and commanders the Turks were far the superior. 

The Turks held their ground. The Greeks came 
marching back over the Sakkaria river and formed up in 
order. Unharassed to any extent by the enemy, they 
retired back across Anatolia. By the end of September 
they had taken up the position they had prepared in 
July, in front of Eski-Shehir and Afion-Kara-Hissar and 
the railway. 

In these military operations the Greeks fell into an 
error that has been repeated throughout history. The 
whole and only object of military manceuvres is to pin 



THE GRECO-TURKISH WAR 


209 


down and destroy the enemy^s fighting forces. All 
other movements and destruction are subsidiary to this 
end. Napoleon points out that the concentration on the 
capture of an important town has ruined many a com- 
mander. In advancing from their poor winter position 
to the line covering the railway in front of them the 
Greeks had full justification. Their subsequent plan 
in August was to rush at Angora 200 miles to the east, 
destroy it, frighten the Turks and then, having won a 
moral position, to fall back on the old line and come 
to terms with the enemy. But Angora was no more 
than a village, and behind it were unlimited mountains 
and desert spaces, and men fighting for their homes. 

Having failed to obtain their objective, the Greeks 
endeavoured to attain their end on their retreat by 
systematic destruction. They destroyed the whole area. 
They tore up every mile of the permanent way of the 
railway. They cut down the trees, killed every Turk 
who was foolish enough to be still there, and for 200 
miles behind them left desolation and the villages flat 
with the ground. 

Their new line covered the railway. Its communica- 
tions with the base were a good road that was well 
protected and a railway that was open to sudden raids. 
In due course the Turks reorganized their badly mauled 
forces, and followed up the enemy. They took up a 
position facing the Greeks and there for a year, except 
for outpost encoimters, the hostile forces sat immobile. 
Victory lay with the side that had the greater morale, 
and the greater amount of grit and staying power. 

The odds began to swing over to the Turks. The 

p 



THE GRECO-TURKISH WAR 


209 

down and destroy the enemy’s fighting forces. All 
other movements and destruction are subsidiary to this 
end. Napoleon points out that the concentration on the 
capture of an important town has ruined many a com- 
mander. In advancing from their poor winter position 
to the line covering the railway in front of them the 
Greeks had full justification. Their subsequent plan 
in August was to rush at Angora 200 miles to the east, 
destroy it, frighten the Turks and then, having won a 
moral position, to fall back on the old line and come 
to terms with the enemy. But Angora was no more 
than a village, and behind it were xmlimited mountains 
and desert spaces, and men fighting for their homes. 

Having failed to obtain their objective, the Greeks 
endeavoured to attain their end on their retreat by 
systematic destruction. They destroyed the whole area. 
They tore up every mile of the permanent way of the 
railway. They cut down the trees, killed every Turk 
who was foolish enough to be still there, and for 200 
miles behind them left desolation and the villages flat 
with the ground. 

Their new line covered the railway. Its communica- 
tions wdth the base were a good road that was well 
protected and a railway that was open to sudden raids. 
In due course the Turks reorganized their badly mauled 
forces, and followed up the enemy. They took up a 
position facing the Greeks and there for a year, except 
for outpost encounters, the hostile forces sat immobile. 
Victory lay with the side that had the greater morale, 
and the greater amount of grit and staying power. 

The odds began to swing over to the Turks. The 

p 



210 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


Greeks found their backers had disappeared. The 
British began openly to doubt their ability to stay in 
Anatolia. The Italians had no liking for them. The 
French had swung right over and were actively assisting 
the Turks with aeroplanes and war material. 

The French had observers in Angora. They now 
sent M. Franklin-Bouillon to come to terms with the 
Turks. He worked in secret and by stealth ; but there 
are no secrets in Turkey. It is a vast whispering gallery 
and the only hope of secrecy is in the fact that so many 
are the lies that the truth may be sometimes buried 
beneath them. 

The Italian and the British Governments watched the 
negotiations from a distance. Their position and the 
urgent instructions to M. Franklin-Bouillon from Paris 
were a caustic commentary on secret diplomacy. It 
became obvious that the French were bargaining for 
special trade facilities and had guaranteed to press for 
the revision of the Treaty of Sevres. It had little force 
with the French Government that they had promised 
to make no separate peace with the enemy ; and on 
the 20th of October, 1921, they signed, without refer- 
ence to their -allies, a secret treaty of peace with the 
Turks. Every chancellery in Europe was aware of its 
existence, but it had to be left to an American journalist 
to find a copy and publish it to the world before diplo- 
matic action could be taken. 

The Greek sticking power was limited. Their re- 
sources had been strained to the utmost and were near 
to snapping. At home they were torn by the factions 
of Royalist and Venizelist who hated each other as much 



THE GRECO-TURKISH WAR 


21 1 


as they hated the enemy. The new officers and officials 
were more corrupt and less efficient than the old. They 
are as a people unstable and swayed easily by the passions 
of the moment. The morale of the troops was under- 
mined by communiques from the new Commander-in- 
Chief, Hadjienestis, to the effect that they were to 
leave Anatolia shortly and by the proposal of the Allies, 
made officially in March 1922, that they should evacuate 
at once. The administrative services began to go to 
pieces and the men were left short of food, pay, clothes 
and ammunition. All the enthusiasm was steadily 
sapped out of the nation and out of the troops. 

Meanwhile the Turks found allies in the French and 
the Caucasian Soviet Republics and in Moscow and every 
country in Asia which was in revolt against Europe. 
Their success at the Sakkaria battle had given them a 
new hope. Roused, they were fighting doggedly for their 
homes and their lives. They are a primitive people, and 
as long as the kindly Powers gave them war material 
they could last. They were buoyed up with the new 
spirit of a new nation. Under the intense stimulus of 
war old ideas were developing and new ones were being 
evolved. Here and there incidents showed the stirring 
of the new idea and of the new forces and new con- 
ceptions. For the minute, fierce with hatred, they 
concentrated on destroying the Greeks. So for a yeari 
from September 1921 to September 1922, the enemies 
faced each other while the Greeks grew pallid, tired 
and nerveless, and the Turks grew robust and lusty 
and strong. 



CHAPTER XXIII 

A Lull between the Storms 


U ndisturbed by the war in Anatolia, the Allies 
within the neutral 2one carried on in tranquillity. 
Pera had settled down under the flatness of 
peace. Now and again there would be a flare of excite- 
ment. In September came the first of a number of 
scares of plots. The Commander-in-Chief was to be 
killed, and with him his staff. The authorities grew 
busy and even excited. Orders were issued to arrest 
the plotters, and copies were sent to all the High Com- 
missioners and the Ottoman War Office and the Chief of 
the Police. 

Then from the Marquis Garroni in the Italian Em- 
bassy right down to the loafers in the Skutari streets 
every one laughed. The addresses of the plotters were 
unknown but among those on the lists sent with the 
orders for arrest were Fethi Bey and Ali of Yalma and 
Keml of Adrianople and many such. In England they 
would represent Mr. Jones, Alfred of York and Harold 
of Manchester with “ addresses unknown.” The police 
smiled discreetly. The gendarmerie laughed out loud. 
Between them they arrested quite a number of men 
with the right names but wrong personalities, and 

212 




A LULL BETWEEN THE STORMS 213 

later these were graciously released. Somewhere a 
number of agents and interpreters drew their well- 
earned pay for the month of September. 

In October I was detailed to proceed with the com- 
mission that was to exchange the fifty odd Turks con- 
fined in Malta with the British prisoners in the hands of 
the Nationalists. We lay off Ineboli in the Black Sea 
in a storm that blew out of the Crimea and roused the 
sea until the destroyers dipped their sterns under each 
mountainous wave. I went ashore to start negotiations 
and found the Nationalists intensely hostile, offensive 
and ungracious. All the pleasant good feeling which 
existed towards us during the war was gone. I watched 
the prisoners go ashore with mixed feelings. To see 
Rahmi Bey and Reouf Bey free was to be glad that 
justice was being done. To see Mazlum Bey, the late 
commander of Afion-Kara-Hissar, and other foul crimi- 
nals go scot-free was to feel to the full the humiliating 
weakness of the British Empire ; for Mazlum was a 
murderer in cold blood of British soldiers. As we sailed 
away with only half the British prisoners which we had 
expected to recover, I was glad to be finished with an 
episode in which I had been so deeply involved and 
which had befouled our good name for so long. 

My gendarmerie area was now quiet except in the 
south where the Greek troops held one shore of the 
Gulf of Ismidt and we the other. Along our shore were 
many Greek villages. Encouraged by the proximity of 
the Hellenic troops, the villagers refused to pay taxes 
and often brawled with the Ottoman officials. 

The village of Pendik was especially bad. The priest 



214 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


was a trouble-monger and the people sullen and obstinate. 
I wished to see for myself, and so with Husein Husni 
and Sami the Governor I took the train from Haidar 
Pasha station. 

Haidar Pasha begins the eastern section of the great 
railway planned from Berlin to Bagdad. From here 
along the Marmora shore to Eski-Shehir and then by 
Konia to the Cilician Gates and down to Aleppo and 
Mosul, the railway follows the route along which for 
centuries trade has travelled and along which many of 
the great conquerors have marched to the dominion 
of the world. Cyrus of Persia, Alexander of Macedon, 
the Seljuk Turks and the Crusaders used it. The 
Romans and Napoleon realized its value. 

The Germans had seen that whoever holds this route 
may threaten and dominate the whole Near East. They 
had dreamt a great dream of the railway from Haidar 
Pasha to the Taurus, tapping the wealth of Syria and 
threatening Egypt, and then across to Bagdad and 
Basra, and perhaps some day to India. The surplus 
population of Germany was to have been planted as 
colonists in the potentially rich valleys of Anatolia, and 
German efficiency and hard work were to have revived 
a dead world. It was the dream of a great Eastern 
Empire, It was born at Haidar Pasha and there it died. 
Over the station was a great clock. Above it a twisted 
girder and a broken chimney stood gaunt up against 
the sky. The clock had stopped at 12.31, It was the 
time of the great explosion of 1917. The yards and 
the trains had been packed with ammunition and guns 
to be sent to the Turkish forces facing Generals Allenby 



A LULL BETWEEN THE STORMS 215 

and Maude. A train, full of German experts, was 
about to move off when a terrific explosion occurred. 
Tons of ammunition, supplies, steel girders, bits of train 
and lines were thrown into the air. At the other end 
in Mesopotamia and Syria the Turks went short of 
food and ammunition, while General Allenby advanced. 
The clock was the symbol of a great idea caught by 
the throat and its neck broken. 

We travelled through the rich villages that throng 
the Marmora shore. They are mainly Christian. At 
last we came to Pendik. There had been a further 
fight with the tax-collectors that morning, and we called 
the headman and elders, together with the Moslem hodja 
and the Greek priest, to meet us on the pier by the 
coffee-shop. 

We sat with our backs to the sea and they faced us 
in a half-circle. The Governor had his say, and then 
I appealed to them, both Moslem and Christian, to 
forget the wrongs they had done each other, to put 
politics aside and live as Ottomans in peace and harmony. 

They sat in silence looldng on the floor, except the 
Greek priest whose eyes kept staring intently past me. 
Instinctively I looked round. Behind us the Marmora 
ran into the narrow gulf of Ismidt. The opposite 
shore, two miles away, stood out clear across the calm 
blue water. Towering up into the windless sky were 
five straight columns of smoke. As an allied commis- 
sion saw them at their foul work, the Greek troops were 
raping, pillaging and burning in the Moslem villages 
and many Ottoman Greeks were helping them. The 
rest of my carefully prepared speech died in my throat. 



2i6 turkey in travail 

In the gendarme post outside the village lay an old 
Greek watchman. He had refused bread to ZafEri 
and the brigands had beaten him with the sharp edges 
of knives, as they had beaten the woman of the village 
of Jews. As he lay in his blood-soaked clothes and 
died slowly, he told us all he knew and that the band 
was out in the open country. 

Messages were sent to put in motion every gendarme 
to intercept the brigands. We took horses from Pendik 
and set out northwards. The street was bright and 
warm in the pleasant winter’s sun. At the last comer 
sat a beggar. His legs were stumps horribly mauled 
and exposed to win pity. He had one withered arm 
drawn across his breast. The palm of his hand was 
turned up for alms and the fingers were all twisted 
together. His head was shaved close. He had but 
one eye. The odier was a glaring white socket. He 
sat in the bright sun while the wind brought up the 
taste of good salt from the sea. He mewed at me, for 
his tongue had been tom out. He looked as if he had 
been half pinched in some colossal and horrible vice. 
He had once been comely and strong, but the Turks 
had massacred his village and he had been left mutilated 
and for dead. He had revived and in his twisted awful 
deformity, in the open sunny street, he sat a fitting 
relic of Ottoman mle. 

We came to the Moslem village of Samandra, and 
decided to rest the night. When the Governor sat to 
hear complaints, an old Armenian hobbled up to accuse 
the villagers of persecuting him. Our inquiries showed 
that he was the rich man of the village, but he would 



A LULL BETWEEN THE STORMS 217 

not pay the watchman’s tax which came to a few coppers 
each week and was paid without question by all the 
other householders. Thirty years before he had come 
as a penniless labourer to the village. Now he owned 
half of it and held mortgages on the rest. He took 
us to his house which he had built in an underground 
Genoese bazaar. This he had excavated and made 
into an oil-press. He was a bent old man, and he 
walked with two sticks. His shoes were of heavy wood 
and he wore the pleated trousers of the Armenians 
which have a seat that hangs down to the heels. As 
he peered up at us out of his grimy room with his wicked 
old face and crafty eyes, he looked like some great toad. 
I expressed my opinion that he ought to pay. Where- 
upon he pushed some money into my hand and bade 
me pay die headman. This man had refused to pay 
for twenty years. He had lived alone, the only Christian 
among Turks. They had murdered his relatives in 
other villages. He had been beaten and imprisoned 
and yet he refused to pay, and finally he paid because 
a stranger said he ought to pay. His mental process 
was impossible to follow, and his obstinacy was charac- 
teristic of his race. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

The Christian Minorities 

T he most difficult problem which confronted 
the Gendarmerie Supervising Officers was 
caused by the relations between the Christians 
and Moslems in Turkey. The more I saw of them, 
the more complicated they appeared, and the more 
difficult it became to arrive at just decisions. 

The question of the Christian Minorities had its 
roots in far-distant history. Its influence had spread 
beyond Turkey and become part of the variegated tex- 
ture of international diplomacy. The waves of Turkish 
hordes of invaders, that resulted in the conquest of 
Anatolia and the supremacy of the Osmanlis, had swept 
over old civilizations that were stale and long since 
diseased. They did not destroy them nor yet absorb 
them, but often they borrowed their worst characteristics. 
Thus, from the Byzantines, the Osmanlis took the 
practices of farming taxes and of ill-treating ambassadors. 

The Turks made no attempts to absorb the Christian 
communities that they conquered. As long as they 
paid taxes and were obedient the Christians were allowed 
full liberty to rule themselves. Thus it happened that, 
while the Government of the Ottoman Empire was 

218 



THE CHRISTIAN MINORITIES 


219 


Turkish, it contained representatives of the Christian 
communities and these, which produced all the wealth, 
were semi-self-governing. 

For a while the Greeks obtained such influence that 
at one time they virtually controlled the administration 
of the Ottoman Empire, This period of what is known 
as that of the Phanariot Rule ” came to an end with 
the revolt of Greece proper in 1821. From this date 
onwards each success of the Greeks of Greece spelt 
disaster for the Greeks of Turkey. It is instructive to 
remember that the original revolt of the Hellenes was 
made possible by the rapacity and extortion of their 
Phanariot Greek rulers. 

As long as the Empire was all-powerful the Turks 
were content ; but times changed. From the defeat 
in front of Vienna and the death of Suleiman the Mag- 
nificent the Turkish power declined rapidly, until by 
the eighteenth century each and every observer pro 
phesied its immediate dissolution. 

In Europe there came an age of expansion and every 
great nation looked on Turkey with greedy eyes. One 
by one they pressed in on her, eager for their share of 
the spoils at her imminent dissolution. The diplomats 
found a congenial sphere and played one against the 
other till the tottering Ottoman Empire was buttressed 
up on every side by the rivals. Jealous of each other 
they maintained the moribund state, but all were afraid 
to rush in and complete the destruction. Russia made 
one bold attempt in the early nineteenth century, and 
it resulted in her defeat in the Crimean War. Pieces 
of territory were torn away, when occasion served. 



220 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


The French seized Algeria. The British took Egypt. 
The Austro-Hungarians took Herzegovina and Bosnia. 
But the main body of the Empire, though diseased and 
paralysed, remained intact. 

Direct assault being impossible, the Powers sought 
other methods. They proclaimed themselves the cham- 
pions of the down-trodden Christian communities . 
Russia obtained the right to protect the Orthodox, 
and France to protect the Roman Catholic subjects 
of the Porte. Using these rights they fomented rebel- 
lion within ; and, adding to them the stringent control 
of the Capitulations, they reduced the Ottoman Empire 
to a state of servitude. Turkey had ceased to be a 
sovereign power, when the sudden and meteoric arrival 
of Germany threw all the other calculations into con- 
fusion. 

Nationalism, the child of the French Revolution, had 
by the twentieth century become the outstanding cha- 
racteristic of Europe. Its influence came to Turkey. 
The Christian communities became political organiza- 
tions, and nationalities engaged in a fierce struggle for 
existence. The Patriarchs became as it were their 
Consul-Generals. That struggle was intensified by the 
interference of the foreign Powers. 

But the Turks were impregnated by the same idea. 
It was the foundation of the Committee of Union and 
Progress. It was the war-cry of the revolution of 1908. 
The Turks were determined to ‘‘ turkify ” Turkey; 
Instigated by the foreign Powers, the Christians refused 
to become Turks, and so the breach that had been 
between Moslem and Christian was now widened. 



THE CHRISTIAN MINORITIES 


221 


These and a complication of other facts were the 
causes of the mutual slaughter of the massacres. Foreign 
interference was the venom that drove the Christians 
to obstinate resistance and the Turks to kill. In 1878 
the Treaty of Berlin decided to protect the Armenians, 
and was the direct cause of their massacre in 1896. To 
the Turks their Christian subjects now threatened their 
state and their religion and had become traitors. They 
developed the hatred that, in very similar circumstances, 
drove the English of the Middle Ages to persecute the 
Jews. They feared the secret political organizations 
with their foreign links. The Christians threatened their 
existence at every point. The Turk for one reason and 
another had become sterile. Their women, though 
broad-hipped, produced few children and those born 
died young. On the other hand the Christians multi- 
plied like flies in a valley of offal. 

Economically the Turks were being crushed out. 
The Christians were the workers and the hoarders, 
while the Turks were soldiers and spenders. In England 
we deal with economic problems of wealth distribution 
by super-tax and such like legal methods. The Turks 
endeavoured to deal with theirs by murdering the col- 
lectors of wealth and so taking back by force what had 
been won from them by work and brains. As an expert 
once said : ‘‘ A good Government must always be on 
the side of the craftiest and cunningest, even the worst 
section of the population. If the Turk is given ‘ good 
government ’ he must come to an end ; for if he cannot 
murder the Greek and the Armenian, they will out- 
breed him and buy him up.’’ 



232 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


Military reasons, especially during the Great War, 
added their quota. The Greek massacres of 1916 were 
due to the occupation of Mytilene and the islands off the 
mainland by the Allies. The Armenians lay between 
the Turks and their relatives of Central Asia. They 
were a bar to the realization of the Pan-Turanian policy, 
and so with ruthless cruelty they were wiped away. 

The Armistice found the Turks beaten to their knees. 
Scattered over Anatolia lay the torn remnants of the 
Christian Minorities. Their ancient instigators to resis- 
tance were now the world victors. In the struggle 
for nationalism the Turks appeared to have gone under. 
All the separate sects shouted that they were free and 
demanded recognition. The Peace Conference lent a 
ready ear to their demands. They were treated as 
allies and fully utilized. They believed that the Turks 
were at an end. They insulted them gratuitously. An 
Armenian-Greek section was formed in the British 
Embassy to right all their ancient wrongs. The Greeks 
of Greece were sent into Anatolia as the Allied police. 
The Ottoman Greeks claimed their revenge at the 
British Embassy, and took it in massacring with the 
Hellenic troops. 

They put forward fantastic claims. The bishop 
and people of Trebizond demanded a Pontus State. 
The Armenians plotted out their new country to run 
from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and to cover 
some 400,000 square miles. They demanded that the 
Allies should eject all Moslems from this area. They 
issued delightful booklets over the signatures of M. 
Aharonian and Boghos Nubar giving tables of their 



THE CHRISTIAN MINORITIES 


223 

virtues and ending with the delightful qualification 
for ruling by the Armenian race ‘‘ which in addition is 
remarkably prolific.” 

The Allies contracted with demobilization and with- 
drew, leaving their wretched proteges to the mercy 
of their rulers. In a fury, that can be well understood, 
the Turks came back with murder in their hearts. To 
them all the Christians were now traitors. The worst 
brutalities of the Greek troops had been instigated 
and assisted by the Ottoman Christians. The Turks 
set to work to wipe them out finally, much as a surgeon 
cuts away some growth which the body cannot absorb 
and which threatens life. 

In all these changes and these fierce struggles of 
nationalities the Moslem and the Christian showed 
themselves equally villainous in their bestialities. Which- 
ever side got on top massacred the other. In the Revolt 
for Independence the Greeks murdered the Turks in 
the Morea. In 1917 the Turks massacred the Greeks. 
In 1919 the Greeks retaliated round Smyrna, and again 
in 1920 and 1921. In 1922 the Turks took their revenge 
and wiped out the Ottoman Greeks. In 1915 the Turks 
had massacred the Armenians. In 1916 the Armenian 
Christian Army of Revenge came down with the Russians 
and killed all the Moslems of Van, while our noble allies, 
the Russians wiped out every Turk round Rowanduz. 
This list could be continued in red entry on red entry. 
The result of outside interference has been to intensify 
the brutalities. It can only be said that Greek and 
Turk and Armenian understand each other far better 
than we understand any of them, and all would 



224 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


have been better off, if Europe had left them alone. 

The misery of the peasantry, the ruin of the country- 
side and the fact that the hills were full of brigands were 
the direct results of the terrible history of this mutual 
massacre of neighbours. 

We in the gendarmerie areas were late comers and we 
saw only the end of the struggle. The Treaty of Sevres, 
which we were enforcing, made a last effort to save the 
Christians. Beyond us now across all Anatolia the 
limited massacres were replaced by deliberate and 
careful extermination. 

The supervising officers were instructed to see that 
the peasantry, and especially the Christians, were not 
ill-treated by the Ottoman officials. It was not an 
easy task, for though often justice seemed with the 
Christians, their personal and national characteristics 
made it hard to stand by them and hold out continually 
the hand of friendship. Christianity did not come 
into the question for ‘‘ our common Christianity was 
not a living reality, but a historical curiosity.^’ The 
Christians often appealed to it, but they found but 
little response among the British. 

Whereas the Turks, despite their record of vice and 
brutality, are pre-eminently lovable and have great 
charm, the Ottoman Greeks are crude, noisy and un- 
lovable. They are hard-working and vociferous. Though 
rarely physically brave, they have much mental and 
verbal truculence. 

The Armenians are a black-haired, black-eyed people 
with runaway foreheads and hooked noses like the 
Hittites. About them there is nothing kindly. They 



THE CHRISTIAN MINORITIES 


22S 

are crafty, grasping, hard-working and dishonest. They 
are a highly nervous, over capable and over intelligent 
race. They are afflicted with an obstinacy that would 
enrage the mildest tyrant. They cannot and will not 
submit to any rule. 

The Christians imitate and so burlesque European 
manners and ways. They irritate in details — in the way 
they eat and walk and talk. Even when giving me 
hospitality they drove me to distraction. They have 
the craft, the dishonesty, the cheap trickery and the 
oily, cringing subservience mixed with truculence that 
are the result of centuries of oppression. Ill-treated 
children develop such characteristics. Often it required 
all my sense of discipline to keep down my irritation 
and see justice done to a Christian by a courteous and 
charming and quite unjust Turkish official. 

As the old toad-like Armenian peered up at me out 
of his grimy room in Samandra village, I could not help 
admiring the tenacity of his race nor help realizing the 
tragic complications of these problems, to which I was 
but an observer from the outside. 


0 



CHAPTER XXV 


The End of Brigandage— in the Ismidt Area 

W E had decided to stay that night at Samandra. 

Sami the Governor had left for Skutari. 
Hardly had it grown dark, before the head- 
man of the neighbouring Greek village of Pasha Keuy, 
with infinite precautions and stealth, came to me. Our 
luck was in. The brigands had grown drunk in Pasha 
Keuy. The headman had been wantonly beaten by 
Zaffiri, and now was eager for revenge. He told us of 
the secret oven in his village from where the Greek 
brigands got their bread. He told us of a lair to which 
Zaffiri had gone and which was an old cowpen on a 
hill-top deep in the great forest. 

Husein Husni was still out on the hills. I called Zia 
the Lieutenant, a small dapper man as hard and wiry 
as a hill goat. He was eager for a chance, for hitherto 
it had been his work to sit in Head-quarters and extract 
information from prisoners. It had half-frozen my 
blood more than once to find him sitting cold and impas- 
sive, without any of the lust of cruelty in him, jotting 
down methodically the words that escaped some twisting 
tortured prisoner ; such are ways of Turkishjustice. We 
set out with Hassan, the Bash-Chaoush, a huge swarthy 

226 



BRIGANDAGE IN THE ISMIDT AREA 227 

Serjeant with a fierce swagger, and with two dozen 
mounted men. 

As we came to the forest a great storm came burst- 
ing down off the Black Sea. It was pitch dark. 
Through the trees the wind drove the rain into our 
eyes, till they tingled as if beaten with fine spikes. Under- 
foot the narrow paths were of slippery clay and full 
of pools of water. The forest was alive. The storm 
had loosed a thousand devils, who whistled through 
the tree-tops and screamed and filled the forest with a 
great roar. The strength of nature came hurtling by 
in tremendous and terrifying force. Now and again 
with a boom and a crash a tall tree came down. 

In the dismal rain-swept dawn under low scurrying 
clouds we reached the hill. We dismounted and pre- 
pared to clamber up it in a circle. The cowshed was 
well placed. The hill was covered with low scrub till 
near the top and then was bare with the cowshed making 
a good look-out over all. The gendarmes had come 
out of the scrub and were round the shed in a circle. 
There was no sign of life. In the dreary dawn I told 
the headman in muttered whispers what I would do 
to him if he had lied. 

There was a yard round the shed and a low wall 
with a door. I bade Hassan the Bash-Chaoush kick in the 
door. I wished to give him another chance to retrieve 
his character for he had done good work in the past 
and now stood to be disgraced. Sometimes the beast 
got the upper hand with him, and only last week he 
had gone philandering and beaten all the male relations 
of the lady, when they objected. 



228 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


As he burst open the door a man with a rifle stood 
up. He was the sentry and Demitri the half-brother 
of Zafflri. To avoid the wind he had, at the moment 
that the gendarmes came out of the scrub, bent down 
to roll and light a cigarette and so had failed to see 
us or give the alarm. Behind him in the shed were 
Pavli and Zaffiri and the rest of the band. They sat 
submissively with their hands between their knees and 
made no resistance. Without enthusiasm we led them 
away. At last the area was free. 

Zafiiri was a quiet-looking fellow, but before we 
handed him over to the central prison he confessed to 
eighty-seven murders. Behind the cowshed the gen- 
darmes had found two skeletons. We put them down 
in ZafEri’s cell and he confessed to their murder. 

And why did you kill them ? ” I asked. 

‘‘ Effendi,” he replied, ‘‘ Demitri had newly joined 
the band and he did not know how to kill. We saw 
these two Albanians come over the hill ; so we caught them 
and held them. Demitri is a poor hand at such things, 
and it was a long time before he lulled them properly.’’ 

Our captures were kept in the great central prison 
in Stambul. I visited them and found them all shut 
into one large underground room, such as I had seen 
in the days of my own captivity. Among them were 
a number of men who were innocent witnesses of the 
crimes committed. Some of these had been put in 
there two years before by the British military authori- 
ties. They had been kept confined until the criminals 
were caught, and now they were all herded together, 
witnesses and criminals alike. 



BRIGANDAGE IN THE ISMIDT AREA zzg 

After I left, there was a quarrel over a game of cards. 
The prisoners dug nails out of the walls, sharpened 
them and fought. Zaffiri, being clever, cut the electric 
light and crouched in a comer. When the warders 
came to separate them, Zaffiri alone was unhurt. Karao- 
glan was badly wounded and died. Twenty more were 
full of holes. 

As it was now free of brigands we set to work to 
bring prosperity to the area. I learnt the love of the 
administrator which is as all-absorbing as the love of 
women, the making of money or the intensity of the 
religious fanatic. It is a thing out of the knowledge 
of the Labour Party or the stay-at-homes, who label it 
as the spirit of Imperialism and pile abuse on it. It 
is beyond the calculations of the dry-as-dust ; and it 
would take such a dreary brain as that of John Stuart 
Mill’s to call the Empire, that it has built, a system 
of out-relief for the younger sons of the aristocracy.” 

It absorbed life and every minute and all the energy 
of it. We put the villages straight. We built the roads. 
We chased out fear as a dominant factor and attracted 
back some sense of confidence. We doctored the people 
and protected them and connected telephones to their 
villages. The Law Courts returned to Skutari. The 
taxes began to show that there was an increase in pros- 
perity. Life began to become normal. The people 
became my people, and this land my land. 

All this was far harder work than brigand-catching, 
for the Turks especially have to be helped by force 
and only long afterwards are they grateful. Moreover 
while it was the excitement of the chase the gendarmes 



230 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


were excellent, but in the normal routine of every day 
they grew slack. The Turkish officers were of little 
use. ‘They neglected their men. They were the worst 
man-masters ” possible. The senior officers expected 
to be supplied free with eggs and chickens and ducks 
and to have a share in any wood contracts, The men, 
though short of clothes and pay and food, looked up 
to their officers. Also they looked after their officers. 
They carried on at their duties and in cases of emergency 
were capable of real effort. Treated with any care, 
they would be excellent. They would equally quickly 
be spoilt by over-care. 


§ 

The area was running well. The Turkish officials, 
from Sami the Governor downwards, were working with 
us. The war away beyond us in Anatolia was at a 
standstill and affected us but little. In June 1922 I 
asked for leave and it was granted. 




BRIGAND BAND OF ZAFFIRI, KARAOGI-AN AND PAVH HAND-CUFFEJ 




CHAPTER XXVI 

The Balkans, Central Europe and England 
in 1922 

I HAD said au-revoir to all my villages and my gen- 
darmes and had come back to pack when Prince 
Sami, the stepson of Damad Ferid Pasha, the 
brother-in-law of the Sultan and ex-Grand Vizier, called 
me on the telephone and asked me to see him urgently 
at the Pera Palace Hotel. 

As soon as I arrived I was ushered into a special 
saloon, I found Prince Sami with a revolver in his 
hip-pocket and another laid ready on a table. The 
glass doors of the salon were covered with screens. The 
red curtains had been drawn across the long French 
windows. He looked behind each curtain and under 
each piece of furniture. He spoke in a whisper. It 
was a comedy of the complete conspirator, and I found 
it hard to restrain my laughter. But the message that 
he wished to give me was far from comic. 

It was from the Sultan. Prince Sami had long held 
a special position with Plis Majesty and he had been 
trusted with this. The message was simple. The 
Sultan said, “ Tell Mr. Lloyd George and those in 
power in England that the end is near. They do not 

231 



232 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


understand. I have told the British Embassy, and they 
do not believe. The men of Mustapha Kemal are 
revolutionaries. They will turn Turkey upside-down. 
They will not respect me nor my office. They will 
destroy religion. They are your enemies. They are 
rebels and my enemies, I believe that you are the only 
salvation of Turkey and I am your friend. From Angora 
you will get nothing. I will give you what you want. 
If you wish to save the Sultanate and the Khalifate, 
you must come quickly to my help. Refuse to recognize 
Angora, and make peace with me. Give me a good 
peace, and all that you are prepared to give to Angora. 
Guarantee that the Greeks shall leave Anatolia, and 
hand it over to me bit by bit as they go. Give me a 
loan of 5^4,000,000, against which you shall have sound 
mortgages. With these I will put a good government 
in power. I will go personally to Brusa and call my 
people to me. Many of them still fight to release the 
Khalif from Allied bondage, and they will come. I 
will make friends with the French and be part of the 
Entente. Together we will revive Turkey and make 
her prosperous, but there must be no mandates. I will 
help traders. I will keep the Straits open. I will stand 
by you as the Kdialif, for you have been the defenders 
of the faithful. I will protect the Christians, who will 
be my loyal subjects. The men of Angora are full of 
blood and red ideas from Moscow, and will do none 
of these things.” 

It was the last appeal of the House of Osman, which 
had once ruled half the world. It was the funeral dirge 
of the only policy that could have helped the Allies. 



THE BALKANS AND ENGLAND 233 

It was too late. Two years before, even one year before, 
it might have succeeded. It had been often proposed 
to and then ignored by Whitehall. Prince Sami, Damad 
Ferid Pasha, a few disgruntled politicians and a handful 
of palace officials were now all that was left of the 
millions of subjects of the Sultan. Prince Sami with his 
revolvers, his whispering, his excited exclamations on spies 
as the shadow of a waiter passed one of the glass doors, 
only accentuated the truth and made a comedy of atragedy. 

§ 

Politeness, like many a virtue, is often uncompanionable 
and tiring. As was the custom in Txirkey, Sami the 
Governor and all the officers, with Hadji to represent 
the cavalry and Hassan the infantry, came to see me 
off. They had piled my carriage full of baskets of 
sweets, macaroons and Turkish delight. I ate those 
sweets till I was ill. I fed the population at each station 
till they had toothache. The guard, the engine drivers, 
the chefs-de-gare went about their work with great 
lumps in their cheeks. Ticket collectors, passport men 
and contraband hunters became sticky and pleasant ; 
and left me in peace. Still I had made but little effect 
on the mass, and in desperation I dumped it on a German 
frau and her bespectacled family and left them method- 
ically chewing. 

Hardly were we out of Constantinople before we were 
amongst Greek troops. Here they were crowding in, 
pressing in, close to the city of their aspirations. Every 
Greek looked at the Golden City and hoped to possess 
it. It was at hand, and they toiled in lie arid wastes 



234 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


of Thrace. We travelled through this great, bare, wind- 
swept, stony plain, which is pinched by the cold of 
winter and burnt by the summer^s pitiless sun. The 
villages were of mean mud huts with old thatched roofs. 
For miles there was not a tree, and the only life that 
showed were a few larks in the dried grass and sometimes 
a flock of lean sheep. It seemed a poor place to die 
for except as the high road to the Golden City beyond. 

All the Balkans were full of soldiers and bellicose 
talk. Everywhere there were soldiers, wearing British 
boots and American uniforms. In Sofia the streets were 
full of troops, said to be there to deal with the unruly 
remnants of Wrangel’s army ; but it was a town of 
ruin and desolation, streets in holes, houses fallen down 
and everywhere despair. 

In Servia they were full of energy. They talked of 
the revenge that they still hoped to take from Hungary 
and the wars that they must fight for Salonika and for 
a port on the Adriatic. On their maps Fiume had a 
red circle round it to denote danger.” In Belgrade 
there were soldiers again. Everywhere it seemed that, 
before they were well free of the World War, these 
people were preparing to begin a dozen dog-scraps. An 
American looked out of the window as we raced up 
the broad plain by the Danube into Hungary. 

We did well,” he said, to cut free of all this. 
You’d better follow suit quickly in England. There is 
one piece of hope. From South Russia to the Atlantic 
this year’s corn crop is good.” 

We came to Buda-Pest. I was glad to have left the 
Balkans far behind us. There was no laughter in them, 



THE BALKANS AND ENGLAND 235 

nor the joy of living nor the knowledge of the clean 
good things of life. The people were as dry and rugged 
as their land. Over them all still lay the remnants of 
the blight of the Turks. I realized it in a thousand 
ways. These countries reminded me of trees submerged 
under a long winter’s flood. When the flood has gone, and 
before spring comes to call out new shoots, the trees are 
covered with mud and refuse that become dry and unsightly . 

Buda-Pest lay quiet in the sunlight. Its traffic of 
carts ran on rubber- tired wheels upon asphalt roads. 
The sweat and tired eyes, the acid rough food and squalor 
of life was behind me. Sir Thomas Hohler, the Minister, 
gave me refuge in his Legation and there I found sud- 
denly a cool miles-deep bed in which to sleep, soft 
food, wines of the gods, pictures, carpets, porcelain 
and books in shaded rooms. Life was good. 

In Buda-Pest was the stillness and beauty of great 
stone cathedrals and the splendour of wide streets and 
stately houses. Far behind me was the carrion and 
garbage, the stale smell of evil and misery, that is thick in 
Constantinople. The atmosphere of the Balkans, in which 
coarse primitive animal conditions with murder and war 
and terribleness are the normal aspect of life, was gone. 

Here security and hope looking forward, and peace 
were ingrained in the habits of the people. They had 
been misused by Bela Kun and his foul Bolsheviks. 
They had struck back in wild reaction and suffered the 
horrors of revolution and civil war. But these things 
were terrors that had been forced on them. They 
were a quiet people wanting a monarchy. They were 
glad to be held steady for the minute by one strong 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


236 

man, Admiral Horthy, the Regent. They understood, 
they wanted, they were used to peace and prosperity. 
Left alone, they would quickly have put their affairs in 
order, but on their frontiers sat the snarling states of 
the Balkans, combined into the Little Entente, deter- 
mined that the Hungarians should not succeed. 

The Legation looked down over the Danube as it 
twisted under great bridges, and out across Pest into 
unlimited miles of corn-fields that faded into the distance 
like a sea. They were working in Buda-Pest and there 
was hope. To me looking down over that wonderful 
expanse of city and corn land — ^it seemed incredible that 
those lazy, inefficient useless Turks, that I knew, should 
have ruled as far as this. They had swept forward in 
blood and terribleness. They had been driven back in 
blood and terribleness and left behind them only a few 
smoking ruins. This was the frontier to which the 
East had swept up over the West. Then the West had 
swept back half across Asia, and at the minute the two 
great forces faced each other. 

I caught the train to Vienna and so came to the ‘‘ City 
of Gilded Despair.’’ My life among the Turks had 
made me critical of Europe. I wondered now what 
Europe had to offer. In Vienna I found a vivid indict- 
ment of our civilization. There was all that a man 
could want and all that, when he talked of progress, he 
praised. There was wonderful opera and exquisite music. 
There were cabarets — ^where they kept iron curtains on the 
windows to hide the luxuries from the hungry crowd 
— ^in which they served wild strawberries in cham- 
pagne and beautiful women danced exotic dances* 



THE BALKANS AND ENGLAND 237 

There were pictures by Rubens in the Academy and 
furs and gold watches in the shops. A man might 
telephone to Buda Pest, or telegraph to London or fly 
to Warsaw, or drive down great noble streets in a luxu- 
rious limousine. And the people were starving. Six 
hundred years before our civilization had taken a turning 
into a blind alley. Now its delicately balanced mechanism 
had broken down. The people were starving. The 
night women were fierce. The clerks and the shop 
assistants white-faced crept to the cafes in the limch 
hour and lolled over a cup of coffee. They were all 
bones and flabby flesh, slack and listless with under- 
feeding. The workmen were wild beasts, for they were 
not sure of their next meal. Everywhere hunger showed 
out like a skull beneath a fine hat or the bones of a 
skeleton dressed in a silken gown. Our civilization had 
produced the complicated mechanisms of the taxi and 
of democratic rule and had failed to keep away hunger 
and despair. On the frontier, determined that Austria, 
now all head and no body, should not struggle out of 
the slough of despair, sat Italy snarling. I wondered 
no more that the East refused the civilization of Europe. 

In an express train we raced through Germany and 
so into Belgium. We crossed a still summer’s sea and 
ran into Dover Harbour on a late June day. When I 
came to London they were carrying Field-Marshal Sir 
Henry Wilson down to St. Paul’s. England had already 
forgotten the Great War. It did not realize from what 
this great soldier, and those with him, had saved it. 
In the country the lazy cattle chewed the cud in quiet, 
neat fields. The people went peacefully to work and 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


238 

home to clean cottages. Everywhere there was money. 
There were rows of cars in the London streets. The 
cinemas and theatres were full. The people did not 
realize the boons of stability and those of security and 
peace. One hour in the fear of defencelessness in 
Turkey ; one day in the uncertainty of Bulgaria or the 
misery of Vienna, and they would have understood. For 
defeat in the Great War would have meant that England 
would have been a little starving island in the North 
Sea, if obstinate, blockaded by the enemy’s fleet, and 
full of murder, bloodshed and revolution. It is good 
to forget evil, but foolish to forget the evil that can come. 

It was my first summer in England for many years. 
With a pang of thanksgiving I was glad that I had 
escaped to see it. The grumblers left me unmoved. 
They could not appreciate England, nor its clean grass 
lawns and welcome pleasant sun. In Turkey and all 
the East the people are stale with tired bodies, for they 
live in lands that are stale and tired. They wake to 
the dry sun in the morning no fresher than they went 
to sleep. They do not know the kick and pulse of 
life. Despite the songs of their poets they have no 
scents like those of English roses. I would rather hear 
one blackbird singing in a cool English garden than all 
the nightingales of Alemdar and Ispahan under the 
white moon. 


§ 

Partly through friends and partly personally I delivered 
the Sultan’s message. It had no more effect than a 
small wave on a concrete bastion. The great men 



THE BALKANS AND ENGLAND 239 

listened politely, were interested and returned to their 
folly as before. The Foreign Office was still short- 
circuited and Lord Curzon appeared to acquiesce without 
agreeing. The Turkish Nationalists sent Ali Fethi Bey 
to London to come to some terms, but he was turned 
away. Damad Ferid Pasha arrived, but met with no 
encouragement. 

Then suddenly events began to move. The Greeks, 
feeling the strain and also recognizing that the Allies 
were in a blind-alley, prepared to march on Constanti- 
nople. On the 28th of July they were warned back by 
Sir Charles Harington, the Allied Commander-in-Chief 
in Turkey, and went no further. In August Mr. Lloyd 
George made a speech at Manchester, extolling the 
virtues of the Greeks and calling for a conference to 
bring the deadlock to an end. In this speech he made 
some reference to the Sultan as the real Government 
of Turkey. That fact had at last and too late penetrated 
to his brain. The Turks, wishing to be in a strong 
position for such a conference, played for delay, and 
then attacked the Greeks. Their plans were well laid. 
They feinted at Eski Shekir, and burst through with 
weight of numbers at Afion-Kara-Hissar. To the sur- 
prise of every one, including the Turks, the Greek troops 
went on strike and marched away. Harassed by the 
Turks on every side and neglected by their own officers, 
in an incredibly short space of time they were pushed 
out of Anatolia. The Turks marched into Smyrna, and 
Brusa, and up towards Chanak, and on to the frontier 
of the Ismidt Peninsula. The whole position was 
changed, as I hurried back to Constantinople, 



CHAPTER XXVII 


The Greek Defeat, the Chanak Crisis, and 
the Mudania Conference, 1922 

A S a snail that has suddenly had its shell laiocked 
away, the Allies in the Neutral Zone found 
themselves naked and unprotected, facing the 
victorious Turks. Smyrna had been taken on the loth 
of September and burnt to the ground, and its rich 
Christian merchants ruined and driven out. 

A glance at the map showed at once what had happened 
and where lay the zones of danger. The Greek troops 
had gone on strike. Here and there a few had turned 
and done heavy damage to the Turks. By phenomenal 
marching they had extracted themselves from contact 
with the enemy, and reached their bases on the shore. 
They had taken ship to Thrace and so put the sea 
between them and the Turks. Now they were reform- 
ing in Thrace on the Maritza river. Between the Allies 
and the Turks the protecting screen was gone. The 
position had reversed, for the Allies had become the 
buffer between the enemies. 

The Greeks had moved with an amazing rapidity. 
The Turkish cavalry had done its best, but the main 
force had failed to keep contact. They found the enemy 

240 



THE GREEK DEFEAT 


241 


gone. Between them was the broad sea. One bridge 
across remained and that was formed by the area from 
the Bosphorus through Constantinople to the Dardanelles. 
This was the neutral zone, and the bridge was held by 
the Allies. 

Of this bridge the key-point was Chanak. It was 
the door to Adrianople, and its possession outflanked 
and threatened the communications both by land and 
sea of the small Allied force that held Constantinople. 
The Turks, somewhat taken aback at their own success 
and at the extraordinary disappearance of the Greeks, 
began to form up and concentrate towards the Allied 
neutral zone. General Harington, seeing the danger, 
organized a mobile force of all the Allies and hoped 
with this and a show of Allied flags on the neutral 
frontier to keep back the Turks. 

With instinctive good strategy the Turks came hurrying 
along, looking for their enemy before he could reform 
and reorganize. They hoped to catch him still moving 
and chase him down to Athens. 

Reports showed that the second Turkish Army of 
40,000 men was moving on to Chanak. The French 
and Italians began to grow nervous. On the 22nd of 
September they removed their flags from the frontier 
and retired their forces. That culminating act of stupid- 
ity was due to the politicians in Paris and Rome. The 
commanders on the spot, both as honourable men and 
soldiers, had no part in it. France and Italy paid in 
humiliation a heavy price for their folly. 

Alone the British stood facing the storm. Encouraged 
by the rift in the Entente, and by French observers 

R 



242 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


with their army, the Turks desired to discover if the 
British Empire would stand its ground and, if necessary, 
fight. On the morning of the 23rd of September they 
sent 1,100 cavalry across the neutral frontier. 

The British scouts could see away in the distance the 
dust of columns of infantry marching. Chanak was 
covered by good trenches and barbed wire, except for 
a gap on one flank. It was held by three thousand well- 
equipped infantry with artillery. A handful of cavalry 
and mounted infantry acted as feelers. There were 
aeroplanes in good numbers able to maintain complete 
air superiority. Behind in the Dardanelles lay a great 
armada of cruisers and destroyers, led by four huge 
battleships. Conscious of its strength, this fleet was 
eager to fight. ‘i 

It was a crucial moment. The stakes were large. 
To allow the Turks to cross over was to bring war into 
the Balkans. It was placing a lighted faggot among 
barrels of gunpowder. Bolshevik Russia might invade 
Bessarabia. The quarrel of Italy and Servia in Albania 
might come to a head. Every country was sore and at 
loggerheads with its neighbours. There were a thou- 
sand complications and a thousand people who strove 
for war. There was imminent danger that the flame 
might spread across Europe and light another great war 
of destruction. On the other hand, to forbid the Turks 
to cross might bring the British Empire into direct hostile 
conflict with the Turks, and produce a similar result. 

Despite all the folly of his previous policies, in a 
great decision that marked him as a great man, Mr. 
Lloyd George decided to hold back the Turks even at 



THE GREEK DEFEAT 


H3 

the cost of war. He realized the stakes at issue. He 
also realized the sound method of obtaining success. 
He showed his teeth. He gave orders to fight. He 
called to the Empire to stand up, to protect its honour 
and its interests. With that magnificent decision Mr. 
Lloyd George threw away office and his own career. 

From Malta and Gibraltar and Egypt troops were 
hurried. In Australia and England crowds of men 
demanded to be enlisted. A guards brigade, squadrons 
of aeroplanes, artillery and marines were shipped post- 
haste. The Navy gave its cordial assent and enthusiastic 
assistance. Admiral Beatty was prepared to blow every- 
body and everything offensive sky-high and make the 
transit of the Bosphorus and the Straits, even for a 
rowing-boat, impossible. In Chanak the local com- 
manders were full of belief in success and the troops 
had a placid contempt for the Turks, who had never 
yet turned British troops out of trenches. 

The Turks were hesitating. They were poor troops, 
short of ammunition and necessities. Their bases were 
far away and the lines of communication inefficient. 
They were bluffing. Mr. Lloyd George played bluff 
against bluff, and kept war only as a last weapon to 
save the Empire from dishonour. His bluff was called, 
not by the enemy, but by the Allies and by Englishmen. 
The French assured the Turks that the British would 
give way. The English papers shouted for peace at all 
costs, and their correspondents, ignorant of the facts, 
howled with despair. The newspaper-owners carried 
their private quarrels shamelessly into international poli- 
tics. The Labour Members of Parliament protested, but, 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


244 

being more loyal than the newspaper-owners, went to 
Downing Street and came away under a pledge of silence. 
Englishmen went to Angora to tell the Turks that the 
people of England would not fight. Politicians saw a 
chance to break up the Coalition Government and throw 
Mr. Lloyd George into the street. 

Bluff demanded quick decisive action and a show of 
force. Those who knew the Turks realized that a chal- 
lenge would not be taken up, and that a show of force 
was the front door to a good peace. Such a show had 
to be made alone. Lord Curzon was in Paris striving 
for allied unity, but the French had behind them the 
treaty made by M. Franklin-Bouillon at Angora. They 
wanted safety on the Syrian front. They knew that if 
the British fought at Chanak, they must face French 
rifles and ammunition, French “ seventy-fives ’’ and 
French aeroplanes supplied to the Turks by the French 
Government. ^ If further proof of their attitude was 
required, it only needed to recall the French ship that 
was stopped as it sailed down the Golden Horn in the 
first week of January 1922. It was laden with ammuni- 
tion and stores for the Turks in Anatolia and its hold-up 
by the British caused a diplomatic incident. The French 
looked on the success of the Turks as the success of 
their prot6g6s, who would listen to them. 

On the 25th of September Colonel Shuttleworth, the 
commander at Chanak, organized and sent out a strong 
mobile column. His sanguine personality and optimistic 
courage inspired his whole force. Without nerves he 
faced the possibility of a Turkish assault in the placid 
knowledge of the value of his troops. 



THE GREEK DEFEAT 


H5 


But the decision lay not with the Home Government 
nor with the Chanak commander, but with Lieut.- General 
Sir Charles Harington, the Allied Commander-in- Chief. 
He kuew nothing of the mentality of the Turks. He 
believed that if the Turk was treated as a gentleman he 
would behave as one. He did not take the advice of the 
experts in the Embassy and those on his staff, who tried 
to disabuse his mind of this. He recalled the mobile 
column. He sent kindly telegrams of protest to Mustapha 
Kemal and received in return brusque replies. He merely 
convinced the Turkish command that they held the 
whip hand. 

The moment for action passed. All who had a 
knowledge of the Turks were convinced that if it had 
been taken, it would have been the right solution. The 
Turkish command would have withdrawn the cavalry 
and apologized and been ready to come to terms of 
peace. There was a risk. It needed a great soul to 
take that risk. The Empire has been built by such 
great souls. General Harington ’s telegrams of protest 
only revealed our weakness. Bluff became valueless. 
Strength slithered down into weak diplomacy unbacked 
by force. 

The Turks began to realize how matters stood. They 
had no desire to fight the British Empire. They decided 
on a manoeuvre of peaceful penetration.’’ With arms 
reversed and such like tricks they advanced right up to 
and in some cases through the British lines. To deal 
with such a manoeuvre demanded decision and character, 
and these were lacking. It was a great military victory. 
By a direct assault costing many thousands of lives the 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


246 

Turks might have perhaps attained the same result. 
Their manoeuvre was pre-eminently successful, for with- 
out loss of men or prestige or material, they made the 
British position in Chanak untenable, gained the key to 
the situation, and won a decision as effective as the key 
battle of a campaign. As a military manoeuvre it should 
interest future historians. 

In Constantinople I found the source of the trouble, 
for there was a sense of insecurity. The Commander- 
in-Chief was as it were in the firing-line, and that is 
always unsound. The military dispositions were bad. 
A great town can only be held by employing the minimum 
number of troops as guards and to hold special positions, 
and by concentrating the main body in a handy position 
and handy formation outside ready for quick action. 
/The Allied garrison was scattered in depots and barracks 
all over the intricate town and separated by narrow alleys 
and areas of wooden houses easily set alight. Officers 
lived in private quarters often in back streets and could 
not be found at a moment’s notice. There were constant 
scares of internal troubles and these at times grew into 
panic. The military intelligence was often faulty. 

On the Ismidt side the city was exposed, and the 
Turks had already begun to advance across the neutral 
frontier. The few British troops there were ordered to 
stop them but not to open fire.. In such an atmosphere 
the commander and his staff made their decisions and 
issued their orders. 

The Turks, however, were still unsure. They were 
afraid of the traditional colossus of Britain. They 
hesitated to step into some clever trap laid by British 



THE GREEK DEFEAT 


247 


diplomatists. They knew that Mr. Lloyd George was 
prepared to fight. They wished to avoid fighting anyone 
but the Greeks, They had little to lose by accepting, 
and on the 2nd of October they agreed to a conference 
at Mudania. 

There for nine days Sir Charles Harington steered 
through the shoals of Allied disagreement and Turkish 
arrogance. His patience had been treated as weakness 
and had increased the obstinacy of the Turks. He now 
had orders not to use force without the co-operation 
of the other Allies and to the end the Allied quarrels 
continued. 

By careful diplomacy and unlimited patience Sir 
Charles Harington kept the delegates together and per- 
suaded Ismet Pasha, the Turkish representative, to sign 
the Convention. In the grey light before dawn on the 
nth of October the representatives of all Europe stood 
waiting restless and tired after hours of strain, eager to 
light the first cigarette. Ismet Pasha sat pondering. He 
represented a small army of under-fed and under- 
equipped troops and a bankrupt State. The Civilized 
World waited and held its breath while he pondered 
deliberately. Then he signed. The force that decided 
his signature was the knowledge that he had gained all 
he could hope to gain by bargaining, and that at 5 a.m. 
that morning, if he was still obdurate, an ultimatum was 
to be presented. 

Mudania for the minute saved the situation. It 
retrieved at a grievous cost some of the ground lost at 
Chanak. As soon as it was decided to avoid the use 
of bluff and force it was the only road out of an impasse. 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


248 

It suited the politicians in England, for it formed the 
last lever with which to throw out Mr. Lloyd George. 
To all the enemies of the Coalition, whether politicians 
or newspaper-owners, the makers of the Mudania Con- 
vention were heroes and to be praised. 

But the Turks had been, and were, afraid to fight the 
British. Being among them, I saw it each day. They 
walked on tip-toe while the negotiations were in pro- 
gress. When it was signed they sighed openly with 
relief that Turkey was saved from final destruction. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 


Turkish Success from Mudania to the 
Lausanne Conference 

T he Mudania Convention was the child of the 
Armistice. It was the lack of decision, the 
procrastination that hoped to solve dilSculties 
by delay, the errors or absence of policy, and the discord 
in the Entente, that produced it. 

It ended the Armistice. Most of the events that 
followed were its direct results. Both sides agreed to 
meet and come to terras of peace as soon as possible. 
The Allies disowned the Greeks and agreed to eject 
them from Eastern Thrace and hand over the country 
to the Turks, and to evacuate Turkey themselves as 
soon as peace was signed. They promised to make no 
further military movement, but left to the Turks liberty 
of action outside the neutral zone. 

In itself the convention was final and the Lausanne 
Treaty, that followed it, was its natural consequence. 
The Allies did not use, and then threw away the pawns 
in their possession with which they might have bargained. 
A large percentage of the Greek troops on the Maritza 
front were undefeated. Those who came from Ana- 
tolia were organizing. Given permission, vfithin a few 

249 



250 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


hours, they would have been in Constantinople by the 
side of the British. To eject them again would have 
been perhaps beyond the power of the Turks ; for 
shrewd observers on the spot at that time consistently 
reported that the Turkish troops were of little value. 
Among the Christian population of the town some 
thousands of fighting men could have been enlisted. 
These threats were never used at Mudania. 

By chasing the Greeks away out of Eastern Thrace 
Sir Charles Harington threw away a pawn of maximum 
value. He gave up the only weapon that remained and 
he made the continuation of the military occupation of 
Constantinople by the Allies impossible. With the 
Turks in Thrace the land lines of communication were 
cut and the city exposed to direct assault at any minute. 
It was the second great bloodless victory that the Turks 
had won by a little bluff, and by their inherent ability 
to sum up the character of their opponent. 

Mudania was like the revival of an old play in which 
the characters have forgotten the parts they used to 
act. The Great War and the Entente were things of 
the past. The thinking in terms of the World was gone. 
Each nation had settled back into its own individuality 
and was looking to its own interests. Suddenly the 
Mudania Conference demanded the co-operation of the 
Entente. It showed to the enemy that the Entente was 
dead, and that all the old fierce rivalries were once more 
alive, ready to be used and schemed with. It made it 
clear, moreover, that neither together nor individually 
would the Allies fight the Turks. It proclaimed the 
policy of peace at any price. In the subsequent history 



TURKISH SUCCESS 


251 


the outstanding feature was the presence in the field of 
some 100,000 ragged Turkish troops menacing all the 
might of Europe. 

Though much had been lost at Mudania, the Allies 
still held certain assets and might have extricated them- 
selves with some show of dignity and honour. But 
after Mudania the Allied Military Command was 
obsessed with the determination to avoid war at all 
costs, and with a belief that the Turks were powerful 
and, if opposed, would attack. As a result the enemy 
gained the impression that there was a panic. They 
intercepted urgent telegrams insistently calling attention 
to the dangers of the situation. They saw fantastic 
plots unearthed that were crude fabrications. They 
knew of schemes for an evacuation to be carried out so 
hurriedly that it would resemble a flight. 

When the Commander-in- Chief took over from Sir 
George Milne he had the whole life of the city and the 
neutral area, in every detail, under his control. At 
Mudania he agreed to evacuate on the conclusion of 
peace. There remained therefore only two lines of 
policy, either to hold the city and the area firmly until 
the date of evacuation and then let the Turks march 
in with flags flying and bands playing and risk the chances 
of incendiarism and massacre, or to hand over gradually 
and so avoid the shock. 

Partly deliberately, partly by force of circumstances, the 
second policy was adopted. The Allies had ejected the 
Greeks from Eastern Thrace. On the 21st of October 
Rafet Pasha, with some gendarmes, was to pass through 
Constantinople on his way to take over. He remained 



352 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


in. the city. His activities met with no opposition. It 
was never realized that all that was needed was a little 
firmness which is a stronger weapon than pathetic 
weakness cloaked as tact. 

Weakness cannot long be hidden. The Turks began 
to realize that they had the British at a disadvantage. 
They became arrogant and made demands. As they 
received all they demanded, they took more. Contrary 
to the convention they organized a force in Eastern 
Thrace. They pushed in on the Ismidt front. They 
had been ready to work in conjunction with the Allies. 
Now they demanded the abolition of the military controls 
and this was done almost hurriedly. The censorship 
of the newspapers and telegrams — ^which formed the 
main source of military information — ^was discontinued. 
The control of the gendarmerie and police and the 
passports was given up. The customs and quays were 
handed back. 

On one occasion the Turks chased Italian gendarmes 
off a ship, while they were doing control work. On 
another they refused to recognize British visas and 
arrested Armenians employed by the Allies. On yet 
another they censored the Commander-in- Chief’s speech, 
refused to hand over out of the customs a cup he had 
bought as a boxing trophy, and inserted bitter articles 
against the Allies in the newspapers. Nationalists were 
drilled in the neutral area. Allied troops were molested 
and their safety threatened. Against these and similar 
offences the only action taken was in the form of gentle 
protests. \ When junior officers showed what could be 
done with a little determination they were hurriedly 



TURKISH SUCCESS 


253 


ordered to withdraw. The pride of England and her 
prestige was humbled, without cause, as it has never 
been humbled before. 

The Turks were amazed. They treated me as a 
friend and with this doubtful privilege I heard many 
home truths. Their dislike I could understand and 
even appreciate. Now they developed a contempt 
which I found hard to bear. 

“ Mustapha Kemal,’^ they said, “ and his men were 
in the beginning in a far worse position than you are. 
Were they afraid ? They have won through.’’ 

Seeing his chance, Rafet Pasha schemed to bring the 
effective occupation to an end. Full details of his plan 
were in the hands of the Sultan’s Government and 
British head-quarters on the 25th of October. The 
following day the Grand Vizier sent for Sami Bey, the 
Governor of Skutari. He wished to make him Chief of 
Police with full power to clear up the situation and 
prevent the carrying out of the plot. The appointment 
of Sami Bey was vetoed by the British military 
authorities. With its hands so tied, the Sultan’s 
Government was powerless. 

On the 5th of November Rafet Pasha effected a 
bloodless coup d'etat. The Sultan’s Government ceased 
to exist. Constantinople became a province under 
Angora. The Sultanate was abolished and the Sultan 
threatened. At this late hour His Majesty suddenly 
showed a stubborn courage. He stood his ground and 
refused to abdicate. 

It was common knowledge that, following this coup 
d'Stat, the High Commissioners, considering that the 



^54 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


Allied interests were at stake, demanded the proclamation 
of a state of siege, and that on the grounds that it would 
endanger the safety of the force the military authorities 
refused. The British Embassy staff knew the Turk 
well. They had no delusions as to his gentlemanly 
qualities. They knew that patience and kindness would 
be interpreted as fear and so lead to arrogance and 
opposition, while strength was the high road to peace. 
They showed no panic. They stood firm and courage- 
ous, but unable to enforce their views. The military 
leaders had become the diplomats, 

§ 

I returned to Skutari to find all my work undone and 
the gendarmes dazed. The officers were non-committal. 
The men tried gamely to be loyal. In the north the 
Nationalists had come in looting and raping. In the 
south the Greek villages were empty, and the villagers 
had collected their goods and fled for safety. Once 
more fear and hatred and murder were the dominant 
and ruling forces. 

The Turkish villagers were silent, but the townsfolk 
had begun to talk crude Bolshevism. Everywhere I 
met armed Nationalists. The new nation that had been 
bom across the frontier, of hatred and despair, began to 
flood into my area. Once more there was the old 
danger. The Turks, sheep-like, were being driven by 
vigorous leaders, and there was no public opinion to 
act as a drag. The wild imdigested fancies of a few 
men in Angora were given as orders and carried out 
implicitly without understanding. 



TURKISH SUCCESS 


255 

The people neither understood nor S3unpathized. A 
night of rejoicing was ordered to follow the success of 
the coup d'etat and the end of the old regime. A pale 
white moon lit the streets of Skutari. The riff-raff had 
been formed into processions. With torches and the 
beating of drums they marched round shouting and 
singing. 

“ For what are you shouting ? ” I called to the leaders 
of one procession — a number of porters with whom I 
talked often on the shore. 

“ Long life for Ghazi Mustapha Kemal ! ” they 
cried back. 

“ Give a shout for me,” I replied. 

“ Certainly,” they said, and gave me many lusty cheers 
and then marched away. The police had told them 
to rejoice. 

For the rest the people were frightened. They 
walked softly on tip-toe, not understanding the destruc- 
tion of the Sultanate nor their own position. Few went 
into the streets and many came to my house to hear 
what I had to say. Even the townsfolk reminded me 
of the story, as it is told in the Stambul bazaars, of the 
men of Turkestan. 

Once there came a ship loaded with men of Turkestan. 
It lay in anchorage below the Tower of Leander. The 
passengers sat placidly on the deck in rows. The 
boatmen called to them to come ashore, but they sat 
unmoved like images. In despair, one boatman climbed 
on board. He caught the nearest passenger by the 
long sleeves of his Turkestani coat, tied them together 
and dragged the wearer forcibly into his boat. Where- 



as6 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

upon all the rest rose gravely in a mass and followed 
their brother ; and the boatman with his craft and many 
of the men of Turkestan were sunk in the swift Bosphorus 
current. So the Turks now played gravely the game of 
“ follow my leader.” 

With their opponents held down by the Allies, the 
Nationalists had carried out a great revolution. Con- 
stantinople, the royal city of Byzantium, the imperial 
capital of the Osmanli, was now only a subordinate 
area in the Angora Government. It was hard to 
appreciate the new thing that had happened. I climbed 
the hills beyond my house above the palace of Beyler 
Bey, where Abdul Hamid, the Red Sultan, had been 
imprisoned, and where he had died. It was the Friday 
after the coup d’etat. Below me lay the Bosphorus, a 
strip of grey sea crowded with battleships at anchor. 
There were British battleships that looked like long, 
lean, beautiful wild beasts, eager and crouching. There 
were dirty, bedraggled French men-of-war with the 
day’s washing hung out half-way up to the mast-heads. 
There were ugly Italian craft and gaunt, unwieldy 
American destroyers tied in pairs. All the navies of 
the world lay there in force. 

Far away in the Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent 
a priest cried, and from every minaret the muezzins 
caught the sound and called the call to prayer. In the 
palace ragged soldiers were cooking. A British aeroplane 
throbbed out of nothing and slid away into space. From 
across the Bosphorus came up the live murmur of the 
great city and above it stood out the royal palace and 
its seraglio surrounded by double walls. 



TURKISH SUCCESS 257 

It was the hour for the Selamlik, when the Sultan 
and the EJialif, as his ancestors had before him through- 
out the centuries, went to public prayer and showed 
himself as the Defender of the Faithful and the Monarch 
of the World. To-day, there was to be no Selamlik 
for there was ^o Sultan and the Edialif had been deposed. 
Below lay the navies of the world, and behind them 
the great nations searching for order and peace out 
of the chaos left by war. In the palace sat the last of 
a great race and the ruler of a broken empire. Behind 
me, across Anatolia, born in the agony of death, striving 
to put away from it the corruption of its fathers, was a 
new nation. It was ragged and unkempt. Its future 
was doubtful. It had hurled back the Greeks, who had 
come as the agents of Europe and as Christian crusaders. 
It had forced Europe to its knees. It had tom up its 
own empire and ripped away its own traditions. It was 
led by men full of ideas so new as to be primitive, who 
hurried the complacent people into the steep paths of 
experiments that had taken Europe a thousand years 
to try. 

Far away beyond the palace in a pearl haze lay the 
Balkans full of new nations that hated the Turks. The 
head of the Bosphorus was hidden by a bank of fog, 
dark, lowering and black in the morning light. Wisps 
of fog tore out and came down the Bosphorus. Behind 
the fog lay Russia, impotent for the minute, but at heart 
as insatiable as ever. Behind that fog and the pearl 
haze of the Balkans lay the future. 

The Lausanne Conference had started and events had 
played once more for the Turks. On the 20th of October 

s 




TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


258 

with a whoop of joy the politicians had broken up the 
Coalition Government and ejected Mr. Lloyd George. 
Lord Curzon alone had weathered the storm, but he 
had little reason to be proud of this. Far back in 1919 
he had informed the Italian Ambassador that he had 
had no hand in the sending of the Greeks to Smyrna and 
looked on it as a cardinal error. In September 1922 
he denied all knowledge of the Cabinet’s^ appeal to the 
Empire to stand up to the Turks at Chanak. Between 
those dates he was continuously Secretary of State for 
Foreign Affairs. He allowed the Foreign Office, with 
its wealth of knowledge and precedent, to be short- 
circuited. He saw the Empire committed to policies 
that he knew were wrong and that involved the security 
of the world and of future generations. Mr. Lloyd 
George may have been ignorant, but Lord Curzon was 
aware of the errors. Pregnant with his own pomposity 
and the idea of his own ability and of his ovm stupendous 
indispensability, he remained in office, and yet influenced 
the situation but little. Then when Mr. Lloyd George 
fell, Lord Curzon proclaimed that he had never agreed 
with his chief, and that now he would put right what 
he had always known to be wrong. Mr. Bonar Law 
had become Prime Minister. He was preaching “ Tran- 
quillity,” and that the health of the world depended on 
keeping the patient quiet, and not on vigorous exercise 
or operations. 

The Sultan Wahad-ed-Din had left Turkey on a 
British battleship, and Abdul Medjed had been created 
an emasculated edition of a IChalif. The opposition in 
Turkey had ceased to exist and Angora was supreme. 



TURKISH SUCCESS 


^59 


§ 

I saw that the end was near. By December 1922 
the Turks were once more in complete control. The 
occupation had come to an end. The Allied troops had 
become no more than unwelcome guests and even, as 
their enemies said, hostages. 

All my soul revolted against the crawling to this Pasha 
and to that Pasha. The Turks were back thinking in 
the arrogant days of Suleiman the Magnificent. When 
down and under, they are courteous and charming, 
though somewhat fatuous, old gentlemen ; but when up 
they are evil devils out of hell. My pride hated to see 
the British Empire, without cause, dragged gratuitously 
in the mud, while all Asia watched. 

These sentiments were shared by the regimental 
officers and the soldiers, by the sailors and airmen, and 
the Embassy staff. Throughout they had stood self- 
restrained, courageous and unmoved, and they made 
no pretence that they enjoyed eating mud. In Con- 
stantinople are many British who are British because 
they have passports. They have not been ^ven pass- 
ports because they are British ; but even these combined 
with the Allied civilians in condemning the line of policy 
adopted by the military command. Never in all this 
world has the stupendous power of weakness been so 
dramatically illustrated. 

Too late the French and Italians realized their errors 
Now they began to complain. 

You must always,” said the Italian Military Attach^ 
to me, “keep the red-hot poker close to the nose of the 
Turkish beast.” He had forgotten the arms that Italy 



26 o 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


had shipped to Adana and Konia for the Turks and the 
Italian retirement from Chanak. 

For me the position had grown impossible. Though 
the Turks treated me well, the area was full of armed 
Nationalists who did not know me. I took a last journey 
round my land. I saw the Black Sea once more in the 
winter’s wind. I rode through Alemdar forest dripping 
in a light fog under a pale sun, where stray autumn 
leaves sailed down and fell with a fairy crash in the silent 
woods. I saw the empty dishevelled villages in the 
open plain. I climbed once more the mountain of 
Keish Dagh and down the broken road with Hadji 
Ramazan behind me. The road was full of holes and 
I had planned to mend it in the next spring. 

We topped the last rise. With despair in my heart 
I looked back to where the white road twisted away into 
the horizon and the first trees of Alemdar showed black 
against the sky-line. Murder and desolation lay across 
all this land once more. I had said good-bye to my 
people and they might miss me. To avoid useless regret 
I turned quickly this page of life and climbed down into 
Europe and the well-known streets of the foreign city. 



CHAPTER XXIX 


The Lausanne Conference and the Recog- 
nition of Turkey 

T he Turks were now in full control of all the 
neutral area. I found the new nation like 
a child that is not sure of its feet, endeavouring 
to walk alone and grasping suddenly at new ideas. The 
ordinary routine of life was full of new facts and new 
theories. 

The Lausanne Conference had begun on the 20th of 
November 1922, in circumstances that presented little 
hope of success. 

The Turks had gone to Lausanne truculent in the 
knowledge of their new-found strength. As the weakness 
of the Allied Command in Constantinople and the 
arguments of their opponents showed to them that 
they held the whip-hand, they grew more obstinate. 
They mistrusted the Allies. The exploitation of the 
Ottoman Empire, the Capitulations, the financial controls, 
the shameless annexation of sections of their land, the 
Treaty of Sevres and the Tripartite Agreement had 
handed down to them an heritage of mistrust. 

They hated the Allies. The maladministration, the 
assistance given to their Christian subjects, the inter- 

261 



262 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


ference in their private quarrels during the Allied 
occupation had fflled them with hatred. All the 
brutalities, the raping of women and the devastations, 
committed by the Greek troops, were scored up against 
the British. 

Finally, they went to Lausanne filled with a profound 
contempt for the Allies. They realized now that the 
Allied Delegates had no force behind them. They 
understood the meaning of the lack of firm grip shown 
in Constantinople. They began to wonder why they 
had been bluffed into signing at Mudania and to boast 
that they might, with ease, have marched on to Athens, 
and even Vienna. 

They sat down at the Conference table haughty and 
conscious that their strength was not based on some 
diplomatic move, but on an army. But they sat down 
cautiously and with suspicion. They feared the guile 
of the British diplomats. They were always looking for 
catches and snares. They distrusted the craftiness and 
skill of their opponents. 

Facing them across the Conference table was the 
British delegation. It dominated the Entente. It stood 
alone as it had at Chanak. Some days before the 
Conference Lord Curzon had met M. Poincard and Signor 
Mussolini, and they had agreed on some common action. 
As soon as the Conference began, the French promises 
proved to be valueless. In the French delegation were 
M. Barr^re, who stood by the Entente, and M. Bompard, 
who stood for French interests alone and cared not at 
all for the general good. On the 23rd of January 1923 
M. Barr^re retired for reasons of health, and henceforth 



THE LAUSANNE CONFERENCE 263 

France looked to her own individual interests exclusively. 
She was intent on protecting Syria. She was determined 
to keep as much of her privileged position in Turkey as 
possible. She wanted die money that she had invested 
in the Ottoman Empire. She was depressed to find that 
her protdges, when successful, treated her with scant 
courtesy. Throughout the Conference she followed 
her own line. It led her one day on to the side of the 
Turks and the next on to the side of the Allies. She 
effectually ruined her own interests and earned the 
dislike of both sides. 

The British delegation was prepared to agree to 
liberal terms, but it announced that it came as one of 
the victors of the Great War to impose peace. The 
Turks maintained that by defeating the Greeks they were 
the victors. The outstanding fact remained that the 
Turks had force and were prepared to use it, while 
the Allied representatives were impotent. The British 
refused to strip the situation to its bare realities and deal 
with it accordingly. 

The British delegation was remarkable for the hostility 
of many of its members to the Turks as a whole or to 
the Nationalists. The military member was known for 
his open championing of the Greeks at the Paris Confer- 
ence and later. The experts from the Constantinople 
Embassy had stood by the late Sultan and encouraged 
him to resist the Nationalists. Civil war rouses fierce 
hatred, but the hatred against the foreigner who backs 
one side in such a struggle is fiercer still. The President 
of the delegation, Lord Curzon, was known to the Turks 
as the henchman of Mr. Lloyd George. That he dis- 



264 TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 

claimed responsibility for the policy of his late leader 
was to them only a move in the political game. They 
looked on him as the man who had agreed to their 
dismemberment during the war, who had tried to destroy 
Turkey by the Treaty of Sevres, and who had endeavoured 
by the scandalous Tripartite Agreement to divide Anatolia 
up among the Allies. Now, having failed, he came 
hurrying, holding out across the Conference table the 
olive branch of peace and the hand of friendship. Such 
a delegation might have made a good peace with Greece 
or forced a good peace on a defeated Turkey. But 
with the victorious, overweening and suspicious Turk 
it could not hope to make any peace but one of 
humiliation. 

To follow the intricate and dreary negotiations of the 
Conference would be a weariness of the flesh. All the 
variegated texture of the thousands of international 
agreements that had made the pattern of the old Ottoman 
Empire was laboriously unravelled and each Power tried 
to save what it could. The Turlts knew exactly what 
they wanted. They were determined to be free. They 
refused to allow the reimposition of any control, and 
with all the pawns in their hands they stood firm. 

Automatically Lord Curzon became the “ Prince of 
Carpet-Buyers.” He refused each Turkish demand. 
He bargained through long weary weeks, losing nearly 
all, gaining sometimes a little, to find that within the 
next few days the Turks had decided not to give way 
there also. Any assets he might have had, with which 
to bargain, were thrown away by the flabbiness of the 
Allied Command in Constantinople. Finally he played 



THE LAUSANNE CONFERENCE 365 

the last move of the vendor tourist and in anger left 
the Conference shop. He waited in Lausanne station 
hoping that Ismet Pasha, the merchant, would follow 
and accept. But Ismet Pasha did not come, and Lord 
Curzon left Lausanne in failure. He had overlooked 
the fact that the “ Merchant ” knew, as all the world 
did, that he had nothing with which to buy carpets. As 
Colonel the Hon. Aubrey Herbert once said in the 
House of Commons : “ Lord Curzon treated the Turks 
as he often treats us — like naughty schoolboys — and we 
neither of us like it.” 

The second conference opened a few days later, and 
the regular diplomatists and experts set to work to push 
the peace through to its logical conclusion. By May 
they were little farther. Of liie political clauses fourteen 
out of twenty-eight had been reopened. Of the 
financial clauses twenty-three out of twenty-five had to 
be revised. Forty-five of the clauses of the economic 
convention were in the air. Of the hundred and sixty 
articles of the treaty ninety-two were still undecided. 
The conventions attached were in a similar state. 

At sixes and sevens among themselves the Allies gave 
back step by step to the Turkish demands. Hopes of 
American financial aid at times incited the Turks to new 
obstinacy, just when some vital point had been won. 
Here and there influential Americans tried to involve 
their unwilling Government in commitments in Turkey. 
The active hostility of Admiral Bristol, the American 
High Commissioner, who appeared to think that his 
country’s interests were suffering, did not assist in the 
clearing up of the intricate and delicate situation. 



266 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


Through all the summer of 1923 the delegates haggled 
and quarrelled until in late July the Turks had obtained 
ninety per cent, of their demands, and with a sigh of 
relief the peace was signed and the delegates hurried 
away. In the face of all Asia watching, Europe had been 
humbled by Turkish evasion, obstruction and defiance ; 
and all across the world enemies made a note of these 
things. 

One incident occurred that showed to what a state 
the might of Europe had sunk. Early in the summer 
M. Venizelos had been called to look to Greek interests. 
He realized the deadlock in the Conference and proposed 
to make a separate and good treaty with the Turks and 
to demobilize at once. The Allies sternly forbade this 
and, while France haggled for her money and England 
held fast for barren Mosul, Greece had to wait fully 
armed and bankrupt. She was the only force at the 
disposal of the Allies. However much they might have 
disagreed with Mr, Lloyd George, all the Allies were 
once more utilizing the Greeks for their own ends. 

The bargaining was at an end. On the 24th of July 
1923 the peace was signed. From the point of view 
of the victors of the Great War it was a humiliating 
peace, but it marked an epoch in history. The Turks 
had forced the Allies, against their wishes, to recognize 
facts. It legalized much that already existed. It 
contained few great ideals or sentimental clauses. 

It proclaimed the death of the Ottoman Empire and 
the new divisions into which that monstrous and 
cumbrous body had already adjusted itself. The vast 
Arab lands went their own way. Turkish rights in 



THE LAUSANNE CONFERENCE 267 

Cyprus, Libya, Morocco, Tripoli, Tunis, Egypt, and a 
mass of other places were finally dealt with. 

Out of the vast muddle of the old Empire one by one 
all the nations of the Near East had struggled free and 
taken up their own individual existence. The last to 
struggle free and demand recognition was the Turk. 

Lausanne recognized the New Turkey, a sovereign 
independent state with its destinies in its ovm hands. 
From the Maritza river, with an enclave to cover 
Adrianople, across Eastern Thrace to Constantinople 
and then the whole of Anatolia was to be the extent of 
Turkey. 

The Turks had forced their recognition, at the point 
of the bayonet, on the unwilling Allies. The controls, 
the capitulations, the financial restrictions and the special 
rights of various nations were destroyed. 

The treaty was no artificial or theoretical document. 
It legalized and stabilized already existing facts. As 
such it had firm foundations. The Great Powers had 
buttressed up, and had wish to buttress up again, the 
rotten Ottoman Empire. Now it was gone, and the 
world was free of its complications that for a century 
had weighed as heavily on it as an incubus. 

In its place were groups of new nations, each untried, 
inexperienced and facing new problems. Some had 
been created artificially with European assistance. 
Among them all the Turks alone had decided on and 
fought out their own destiny. In the face of fearsome 
odds they had cast away the corruption of their fathers 
and forced their recognition on an unvdlling world. 



CHAPTER XXX 


New Turkey, 1923 

N ew Turkey did not wait for recognition or the 
end of the Conference, but forthwith set to 
work to reorganize its life. Events hurried 
one upon another into existence and were registered at 
Lausanne and legalized as facts. Constantinople had 
become of minor importance. The Allied army of 
occupation, except as an irritant, had ceased to affect 
the situation. It remained on sufferance and in humilia- 
tion until its evacuation on the znd of October 1923. 
But from its point of vantage it was possible to watch 
the first efforts of the young state. 

The gendarmerie commission was at an end. The 
Allied occupation was a dead thing, and in the new 
year I was due to leave. 

The country to which I had come in 1916 bore little 
resemblance to that which I left in 1923. The stupen- 
dous upheaval of war and revolution had swept away 
every landmark. It had torn up beliefs and axioms 
ages old. It had released new forces which as yet gave 
no indication as to what they would produce. All old 
fixed conceptions had to be readjusted. 

The vast Ottoman Empire was gone, and in its place 

268 



NEW TURKEY, 1923 269 

many small nations, like half-blind puppies weaned too 
early from their mother, struggled for life. 

The social system of the Turks had collapsed. For 
economic and other reasons veiled women and harpims 
had disappeared. Freely and unashamed the women 
had come out into the open. In their power for good 
and evil lay the future life of Turkey. 

The Christian minorities had ceased to exist. Those 
Christians who had remained in Turkey were to be 
transported. The rest were in exile or dead. With 
their acceptance of the ejection of the Greek Patriarch, 
Meletios IV, the Allies crowned their betrayal of the 
Ottoman Christians whom they had used and misled. 
The English bishops and the Federal Council of the 
Christian Churches of America, representing some 
20,000,000 Americans, protested loudly, but left the 
matter in the hands of God. In this they might have 
learnt a lesson from Mohammed himself who taught 
action as well as placid faith. One day he travelled on 
horseback with a friend and at midday they slept under 
some trees. When they woke, the friend discovered 
that his horse was gone. 

“ But,” he said plaintively, “ I had placed him in 
the hands of God.” 

“ So did I,” replied Mohammed, “ but before I slept, 
I tied him up securely.” 

While the religious communities of England and 
America cried shame, they did nothing ; and the Turks 
cleared their land of undesirables. 

The future of new Turkey was problematic. In 
ejecting the Christians, to obtain national solidarity, the 



270 


TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


Turks had driven away their artisan, shopkeeper, and 
working classes and many of their minor officials. They 
themselves had shown little ability at the routine of civil 
life and governmental work which are the driving forces 
of a state. Among them were serious dissensions that 
at times flared into violence. They retained the poten- 
tially rich land of Anatolia, but with a slender population 
that appeared to have been smitten with sterility. Im- 
potent for the minute but watching them closely were 
many enemies, and near at hand was Russia, the colossus 
of the future that would demand a gateway by the 
Dardanelles into the outer-world. Italy had kept the 
island of Castellorizo and her ambitions in South Anato- 
lia. Servia aspired to greatness. All the external safe- 
guards of Turkey were gone. The old game of playing 
nation against nation was finished. The country was 
bankrupt, and capital was afraid to come without 
capitulations. 

Triumphant amid a mass of ruins Turkey stood, for 
the first time in all its history, a homogeneous nation. 
Born at the occupation at Smyrna, it had been bred in 
the hard school of war. Now it stood quite alone. 
Whether it could become fat, compact and efficient, 
capable of regulating its own internal life and resisting 
outside pressure and attack, was a problem that lay 
hidden in a misty future. 

I searched diligently among the Turks for the principles 
on which they were organizing. Despair and a war of 
self-preservation had given them a strange new virility 
and new ambitions. But they seemed to be driven 
more by the sudden kick of hatred than the smooth- 



NEW TURKEY, 1923 271 

running energy of new life. From the West they had 
borrowed the idea of Nationality as based on a community 
of blood, religion, language and interest. They had 
chosen from other nations various definite methods of 
government such as the secularization of all departments, 
the separation of religion and state, cabinet responsibility, 
parliament and general suffrage. But they had borrowed 
nothing from the West in ideas. They took only the 
practical results and refused the inspiration, the ideals 
and the guidance of Europe. Whereas in the revolution 
of 1908 they turned to the West for salvation, now they 
turned Eastwards and proudly proclaimed themselves to 
be of the East. 

The Turks had shown themselves to be materialists, 
but behind them all across the East was a great Moslem 
revival. Europe had based its hopes on material effi- 
ciency. Now the East appealed to the things of the 
spirit. It was a revival for war and power and to show 
that Islam is superior to all other systems and that 
the Moslems are superior to all other men. It had 
within it the pent-up resentment of the East against 
the domineering superiority of the West, 

In this Turkey had been involved. She had headed 
the revolt of the East. She had hurled back Europe. 
She had been proclaimed the champion ; but at heart 
she had little interest in these things. Turkey was, as 
she had been before, a select oligarchy of capable men 
who now used the pliant phrases of democracy to cloak 
their power, and who ruled a dull obedient people. 

I pondered on these things by Galata Bridge. The 
city lay all round me asleep and full of black shadows 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


272 

and clear white light. Pera and Galata were grey and 
formless. Stambul faced me, and up over Stambul, 
against the sky, towered the great monstrous domes of 
the mosques threatening and heavy beside their delicate 
minarets. I wondered whether that great spiritual 
revival would swamp Turkey and advance beyond it 
into Europe. 

Suddenly I realized that throughout all these years, 
passive, trying to help a little, but detached, untouched, 
not vitally affected, I had watched events from without. 
I had seen let loose the soul-tearing passions of war, 
patriotism, fanaticism and hatred. Round me were new 
nations born of strivings and agony, full of unknown 
forces, pushing on into the blind future like rough and 
unshapely primitive animals clawing and groping brutally 
in the twilight of the jungle in a primeval world. I 
had seen men when roused by the great forces of the 
spirit go to death merry and glad, or fiercely to do foul 
bestialities. I had seen great Empires tom into rough 
bits which lay with all their edges raw and aching. I 
had seen great men, in the detachment of power, shrug 
shoulders, make a caustic jest and laugh at some stupen- 
dous error and then hasten away to a rich dinner, while 
all across the world came the sighs of millions starving. 

Detached and aloof I felt as one who has found an 
ants’ nest, broken by some clumsy unheeding foot, and 
who passes a summer’s afternoon watching with lazy 
interest all the panic and the bravery, the hurryings, 
and the mass strivings of the seething pigmy world 
beneath him. 

I knew that God too must be detached. I searched 



NEW TURKEY, 1923 273 

among all the strivings and the gropings for some hope 
of the futures that were to come of all these agonies. 
If God too watched a broken world with lazy interest, 
then the stupendous, but saving, jest of the Universe 
died in despair and blasphemy. 

§ 

For me the end had come. The gendarmerie control 
was over. The Turks were in full possession and wanted 
no help. The Allied Army of Occupation, now impotent, 
was waiting impatiently the hour of embarkation. Before 
dawn on the last day I was up and away to catch the 
early train, and I waited while Galata Bridge was being 
closed. I wondered on Turkey and whether her future 
rested with the Turks. It seemed but just to put away 
prejudice and hatred and watch even with sympathy 
the efforts of the new state. 

In 1916 I had come, improtected, in the hour of 
defeat, to Turkey. I had seen the destruction of the 
enemy and the rise of the British Empire to the heights 
of a stupendous victory. Unprotected I crept away 
now in the hour of defeat and disillusionment. 

Beyond St. Stephano I looked back. The Marmora 
was full of little waves in the morning breeze. Skutari 
and my area lay in haze. Santa Sophia squatted beside 
the Old Seraglio. The Mosque of Suleiman the Magni- 
ficent towered close by the War Office and the Watch 
Tower. Over all lay a mist, white in a clear dawn, 
that made a pearl-coloured shroud to this city of many 
dreams. Across the view the rugged old walls of ancient 
Byzantium stood boldly out. 


T 



TURKEY IN TRAVAIL 


274 

For a while I had seen greatness. For a short while 
I had walked with the British Empire in the valley of 
the shadow of death. 

I had watched a New Nation burst its way out, as 
in a volcanic eruption, through the ashes and ruins of 
the Ottoman Empire, hurl aside its enemies who clung 
clogging round it as restraining as cold lava, and then 
in a flame of white enthusiasm set out to seek its own 
destiny. Whether it carried merely destruction, or might 
fashion itself into something clean and good, I could 
not see. 

The train drew out. I left behind me all this new 
life struggling in the chaos of creation. I left behind 
me much that had made good dreaming ; and so came 
once more to Europe and to face other adventures. 



INDEX 


Abdullah the Chaoush, 199 
Abdul Medjed as Khalif, 258 
Adrianople, 116, 125, 241 
Afion-Kara-Hissar, 32, 14S, 208, 
239 

Aharonian, M., 222 
Ahmed Auzavour, 89, 115 
Aidin, 94, 125 
Alashehir, 125 
Alemdar, 166, 168 
Aleppo, 27 

Alexander, King, 138 
All Fethi Bey's Mission, 239 
Ali Fuad Pasha, 119, 121 
Ali Khan, ii 
Allied Administration, 76 
Allied Neutral Frontier, 206 
Amanus Mountains, 28 
America, 82, 265 
Amritzar Riots, 121 
Anastas, 161 
Anatolia, 21, 120 
Anglo-Persian Treaty, 120 
Angora, 29, 36, I 4 S» 209 
Angora and Constantinople, 
Struggle between, 89 
Angora Government proclaimed, 
142 

Anti-Turkish feeling in England, 
64 

Arabs, to, 13, 14, 18, 22, 121 
Archbishop of Canterbury, 104 
Armenia, 85, 116, 222 


Armenian massacres, 26, 28, 109 
Armenian of Samandra, The, 
217 

Armenians, 224 
Arms depots, 142, 143 
Athens, 68 

Aubrey Herbert, Colonel the 
Hon., 265 
Austria-Hungary, v 
Avarqff, The battleship, 151 
Azerbaijan, 116 


Bagdad, 3, 4, 17, 18, 19, 22 
Bagdad Railway, 19 
Bakal Keuy, 160, 168 
Balkans, 234 
Barrfere, M., 262 
Basra, 4 

Batum, Evacuation of, 120 
Beatty, Admiral, 243 
Beicos, 186 
Beicos, Raid on, 122 
Bela Kun, 235 
Beshik Tash, 150 
Bigha, 147 

Black Sea, 29, 32, 260 
Blanche the Dancer, 180, 182 
Boghos Nubar Pasha, 222 
Bolsheviks, 91, 141 
Bolshevism, 129 
Bompard, M., 262 
Bonar Law, Mr., 258 
275 



INDEX 


276 


Bosphorus, 241 
Bozanti, 29, 119 
Bristol, Admiral, 265 
British Delegation at Lausanne, 
263 

British policy, 77 
British retire from Anatolia, 88 
Brusa, 125 
Buda-Pest, 234, 235 
Bulgaria, 59 

Burial of the Unknown Warrior, 

133 


Cabinet secretariat, 132 
Canelopoulos, 94 
Caucasus Soviet Republics, 21 1 
Cerularius Patriarch, 103 
Chakal Dagh, 166 
Chamlidje, 159 
Chanak, 145, 146, 241 
Chanak crisis. The, 242 
Cherkes Keuy, Skirmish at, 90 
Christian Minorities, 218, 269 
Christians, 34, 150, 152, 174, 215, 
218, 224, 225 

Christians in Turkey, 105, 218 
Christo, 172 
Cilicia, 21, 6$ 

Circassians, 115 
Clemenceau, M., 137 
Conference in London, 145 
Constanides, the Muktar, 187 
Constantine, King, 138, 145, 207 
Constantinople, 66, 71, 79, 96, 
97 

Constantinople Government, 88 
Constantinople no more the 
capital, 256 

Constantinople, Occupation of, 
110 

Constantinople under Allied 
Control, 105, 106 


Corfu, 67 
Coup d^Etat, 253 
Crimea, 141 
Crimean cemetery, 39 
Crusades, 103 

Curzon, Lord, 120, 121, 132, 239, 
244, 258, 262, 263, 264, 26s 


Damad Ferid Pasha, 88, 89, 104, 
los, 113, 114, 115, ii8, 126, 
128, 239 

Dardanelles, 71, 241 
Demitri, 228 

Democracy among Turks, 33 
Denikin, 91, 116 
Deportees to Malta, in, 112, 
213 

Derindje, 122 
Deserters, 27 
Disarmament, 85 


East and West, 79, 271 
Eastern Thrace, Evacuation of, 
250 

Egypt, 60 

Embassy, Constantinople, 75, 76, 
78 

Emir Feisal, $8 
Entente, The, 94 
Enver Pasha, 41, 44, 48 
Eski Shehir, 29, 115, 126, 145, 
208 


France and Turkey, 92, 262 
Franchet dTsp^rey, General, 77 
Franco-British friction, 65, 91, 
92, 93, 262, 263 

Franklin-Bouillon, 93 210, 244 
French in Syria, 108 



INDEX 


277 


Galata, 73 
Galata Bridge, 50 
Gallipoli, vi 
Garroni, Marquis, zi2 
German colonists, 214 
Germans, v, 15, 16, 19, 29, 37, 
40, 47, 48, 50, SI, 52, 58, 59, 6i, 
78, 116, 214 
Golden Horn, 43, 50 
Grand National Assembly, 115 
Great Four, The, 96 
Greater Greece, 137, 138 
Greco-Turkish War declared, 
146 

Greece, 82 

Greek atrocities, 209, 215 
Greek crusade, vii 
Greek devastations, 145, 146, 
215 

Greek line, July 1920, 126 
Greek offensive of Summer 
1921, 207 
Greek position, 94 
Greek prisons, 68, 69 
Greek threat to Constan- 
tinople, 239 
Greek troops, 233 
Greeks, 138, 141, 249 
Grey, Lord, 120 


Hadjienestis, 2ii 
Hadji Ramazan, 163, 165, 172, 
184, 190, 260 

Haidar Pasha, 39, 51, 214 
Haidar Pasha, The explosion at, 
2x4 

Halide Edeb Hanum, 86 
Hamdi Pasha, 1x4 
Hammam Ali, 24 
Harems, 99 

Harington, Sir Charles, X40, 149, 
24X, 245> 247 


Hassan the Chaoush, 226, 227 
High Commissioner, British, 77, 

X27 

History of Turkey, X96 
Hohler, Sir Thomas, 235 
Home Government, 127 
Horthy, Admiral, 236 
Hospitals, Turkish, 38 
Husein Husni, x8o, 190, 2x4 


Imperialism, 229 
Indian Army, 124 
Ineboli, 2x3 
Intrigue, A city of, 102 
Ireland, 116, 121, 135 
Islam, 194 

Islands of the Princes, 203 
Ismet Pasha, 247, 265 
Ismidt, 125 
Ismidt line, I2X 
Ismidt line, Attack on, 122 
Italian emigration, 65 
Italian policy, 65 
Italians, 65, 90, 91, 1 15 
Italy, 66, 82 
Izzet the Albanian, 199 


Jaffir Tahir, 116, 125 
Jemal Bey, 44, 47» 50 


Karaoglan, 160, xyx 
Kars, 116 

Keish Dagh, 17X, X74 
Khalifate, X36 
Khalil Pasha, is 
Kiamil the Muktar, 191 
Kiazim Kara Bekir, 119 
KilkiSf The battleship, 151 
Kizikli, XS9 
Kurdish porters, 152 



INDEX 


278 


Kurdistan, 21 
Kurds, 95 , US, 

Kurt Dogmush, 162, 164 
Kustamotini, 21, 29, 30 
Kutahia, 208 

Kut-al-Amarah, vi, 3, 4 > 5 » ^5 


Labour, 134 
Labour Party, 229 
Lausanne Conference, 257, 261, 
262 

Lausanne Treaty, 249, 266, 267 
Leander^s Tower, 72, 

Levantines, 78 
Levantinia, 79 

Lloyd George, Mr., 121, 125, 
132, 136, 188, 189, 231, 239, 
242, 243, 244, 247, 248, 258 


MacDonald, Mr. Ramsay, 129 
Mahmud Shevket Pasha, 184, 
187 

Maps as Propaganda, 63 
Marash, Siege of, 108 
Maritza River, 240 
Marmeris, 148 
Marmora, Sea of, 37, 71 
Massacres, 223 
Materialism, Boom in, 133 
Mazlum Bey, 54, 56, 78, 213 
Medical Services, 5 
Meletios Patriarch, 104 
Mesopotamia, vi, 4, 18, 21, 121 
Milan, Revolution in, 130 
Milne, Sir George, General, 77, 
no, 114 

Mohamed the Conqueror, 103 
Mohammedan tradition in Eng- 
land, 136 

Montagu, Mr., 136, 137 
Moscow, 1 16 


Mosque of Omar, 20 
Mosul, 25 

Mudania Conference, 247 
Mussolini, Signor, 262 
Mustapha Kemal, 86, 88, 89, 1 13, 
116, 119, 142, 232 
Mustapha Kemal, his allies, 95 


Nachivan, 116 
Napoleon, 209 
Nationalism, 220 
Nationalists, 88 
National Pact, The, 90, 108 
Neutral Zone, 240 
Neutral Zone declared, 146 
Nikola, 172 
Nineveh, 25 

Ninth Caucasus Army, 85 
Nisibin, 25 
Nonconformists, 137 


Odessa, 109 
Ottoman Christians, 84 
Ottoman Greeks, 146, 207 
Ottoman peasantry, Types of, 
169, 170 

Ottoman rule, 148, 216 
Ottoman Turk, 34 


Pan-Islam, 136 
Paraskevopoulos, 125 
Passport control, Allied, 72 
Patras, 67 
Patras prison, 68 
Pavli, 160 

Peace Conference in Paris, 8i 
Pendik, 213 
Pera, 72 

Perekop Isthmus, 141 
Petits Champs des Morts, 74 



INDEX 


279 


Phanariot rule, zig 
Pichon, M., 92 
"Idiots, 212 
Poincare, M., 262 
Polonnez Keuy, 189 
Pontus State, 85, 222 
Pope and Patriarch, 102, 103 
Position in Autumn 1920, 127 
Prince Heritier, The, 92 
Prince Sami, 231 
Prisoners’ privilege, The, 20 
Pushti-Ku, The, 7 


Rafet Pasha, 251, 253 
Rahmet Ali, Subedar, 12 
Rahmi Bey, 213 
Raouf Bey, 86, 213 
Ras-al-Ain, 27 
Recruits, Turkish, 40 
Riwa River, 189 

Robeck, Admiral Sir John de, 
105, 128 

Robin, Sir Paul, 55 
Rue Glavanni, 74 
Russia, 82 

Russian refugees, 107, 141 
Ryan, Mr., the dragoman, 105, 
128 


Saint Jean de Maurienne, 82 
Saint Sophia, 37, 103 
Sakkaria River, 208 
Salonika, 69, 70 
Samarra, 19 

Sami Bey, the Governor, 180, 
181, 214 

Secret agents, 144 
Self-determination, 8i, 8a 
Servia, 234 
Sevastopol, X4X 


Sbvres, Treaty of, 117, 120, 128* 
140, 142, 149, 177, 210, 224 
Shamran, 15 
Shaw, Mr. Tom, 129 
Sherif Bey, 32, 36 
Shuttleworth, Colonel, 114, 244 
Sidki the liar, 163, 171, 172, 
200 

Signor Orlando, 83 
Sixth Division, 3, 18 
Skutari, 37, 150, 152 
Smyrna, 59, 8i, 82, 83, 84, 85, 
124, 125, 240 
Smyrna and Italy, 65 
Snowden, Mrs. Philip, 129 
Sofia, 234 
Stambul, 37, 43 
Stambulinski, 130 
Sultan, The, 88, 112, ii3» ii5» 
116, 117, 119, 120, 121, 122, 
153. *31. *33. *S3. *S8 
Sultan and Khalif, 257 
Sultan’s message, 232, 233 
Switzerland, 66 
Sykes-Picot agreement, 65, 82 


Taranto, 61, 67 
Tarsus, 29 

Tartars of Nachivan, 95 
Tash Delen Spring, 169 
Taurus Mountains, 29 
Tekreet, 22 

Tewfik, son of Osman, 200 
Third International, 130 
Thrace, 234, 240 
Tigris, 3, 4, 6, 23, 24, 25 
Trade Slump, 135 
Treaty of Angora, 93, 210 
Tripartite Agreement, ii8, 264 
Turkestan, Tale of the men of, 

25s 

Turkish devastations, 147 



INDEX 


Turkish officers, 39, 230 
Turkish peasants, 78 
Turkish reprisals, 146 
Turkish social system, 84, 269 
Turkish successful attack, 239 
Turkish troops, 23 
Turkish women, 98, 99, 100, 193, 

194, 195 

Turks, The, 178, 192, I94, ^95 


Urfa, Siege of, 108 
Ushaq, 125 


Venizelos, 83, 95* 124, 126, I37» 
138, 139, I4S» 2107 
Vienna, 236 


Wahad-ed-Din, Sultan, 258 


War Office, 62, 63, 132 
Whittalls, 167 

Wilson, Field-Marshal Sir 

Henry, 237 

Wilson, Lieut.- General Sir 

Henry, 77, no 
Wilson, President, 117, 133 
Wrangel, General, 120, 141 
Wrangel, General, liis defeat, 138 


Yahoudi Chiffik, 158 
Yalova, 117 
Yedi-Kule prison, 69 


Zaffiri, 160 

Zangulduk, Attack on, 120 

Zeki Pasha, 114 

Zia the Lieutenant, 226